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Council awaits test results after 10 ducks found dead in Clapton Pond

PUBLISHED: 09:37 18 September 2019 | UPDATED: 09:37 18 September 2019

four out of the ten dead ducks found in Clapton Pond. Picture: Natasha Cox

four out of the ten dead ducks found in Clapton Pond. Picture: Natasha Cox

Natasha Cox

Council environment bosses are awaiting test results from water in Clapton Pond where 10 ducks were found dead last week.

Hackney Council removed the ducks' bodies the same day (Tue) and staff alerted animal welfare and conservation charities the RSPCA and RSPB.

Ryan Cahill, who lives nearby, told the Gazette the ducks had seemed fine the day before.

"Around 10 adult ducks have been left for dead," he said on Tuesday last week. "There's no feathers or blood so it doesn't seem like a fox - it looks like they've been poisoned or something.

"Some are on the water, some are on the fountain and others are just lying by the side."

He wasn't the only one shocked at the sight of so many dead birds. Many living nearby had seen them in the springtime as ducklings and watched them mature.

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Natasha Cox told the Gazette: "It's horrific.

"If you'd been through the pond during the spring you would have seen the ducklings.

"They did really well this year and were just so cute - the mother did a lot to protect them. They would have been those ducklings dead."

The fountain's pump and timer were serviced in May but failed during the summer. Contractors let the council down "on a number of separate occasions" and it still isn't working - which Natasha fears could have let the water stagnate.

The pond was often littered by plastic bags and rubbish, she added.

Hackney's leisure and parks chief Cllr Feryal Clark said: "Sadly our parks team had to remove 10 ducks that were found dead at Clapton Pond on [September 10], which we know will be upsetting to local residents who care deeply about the pond and the birds that use it."

A council spokesperson added: "While the fountain hasn't been operating, the council has continued to help maintain the water quality by topping up the water, adding clearwater crystals which aid in reducing the nutrient level in the water, and removing algae and pond weed. This was last carried out on September 4 and 5. The weed currently present in the pond belongs to a species which is known for its oxygenating qualities."

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