Dead Foxes in Whitewebbs

Dead foxes in and around Whitewebbs Park early 2021. The following email was sent to various councillors

Dear Councillors
I and others are very concerned about the possibility that foxes are being  killed in the area of the green belt that includes Whitewebbs Park. There is one known case of a fox being shot and injured  and subsequently being found dead on the golf course. I saw the animal myself. Other foxes  have been found dead without sign of injury. Many of us have heard the sound of shotguns being fired, mostly to the north east of Beggars Hollow. The paths are now so muddy in that area that access and close monitoring is difficult.
This statement was received from one of our members:

“I have become concerned with the number of dead foxes I am finding around the Forty hall estate and whitewebbs. Only one had been shot (inhumanely not a clean kill which is illegal)the others have looked in good physical condition well fed and no mange. In the last 5 months I have found 6 with another 2 reported on Saturday 23rd January by a fellow dog walker. Two had been hidden under some old fence panels behind the Tottenham training ground. I suspect they are being poisoned. Poisoning foxes is illegal and also poses a problem to dog walkers as foxes will cache food for later use which could also attract the attention of our dogs. The met police wildlife unit are now involved but in order to get the toxicity testing done we now need each find to be recorded with date approximate location and if possible a photograph. I know that foxes get very mixed reactions but if you feel that you would like to help please let us know of any finds especially in Archers wood and surrounding field area. Thank you.”

I have a photo of one young fox recently found dead with no signs of external injuries in Whitewebbs.
The Council is a proud  proponent of Biodiversity in Enfield and while foxes are not universally popular with farmers they, as native mammals,  have as much a part to play in the biodiversity of the green belt of Enfield as any other animal. 
Has the Council or other authority permitted or licenced the use of firearms, including shotguns, in the area south of the M25 and between Theobald’s Park Road and Bulls Cross?Has the Council licensed the use of poison for the control of foxes in the area, or any other part of Enfield for that matter? Is the Council aware of any action by any individuals or organisations to eradicate or control foxes in the area?
As you are only too well aware we have no knowledge of who is bidding for leases to manage and develop leisure activities in Whitewebbs Park.  Could we have your assurance that no individual or organisation that has been responsible for the deliberate killing by poison, shooting or other means of foxes in the green belt of Enfield will be considered  as a bidder ? We also ask that the Council require that bidders give a signed  affidavit that they have not and will not engage in any such activities, recognising that any such activity would invalidate their bid and any lease granted.
This issue has raised a great deal of interest and I would welcome a response from you that can be disseminated to our members and other interested parties.
Yours sincerely
Sean Wilkinson Chair of the Friends of Whitewebbs Park

Reply from Cllr Ian Barnes

Thanks for your email Sean. I see that Cllr Yusuf is looking into it so I’ll leave in his capable hands.
Best wishes,

Councillor Ian Barnes
Deputy Leader of the Council

Correspondence with Councillor Hass Yusuf

Hello Sean – good to hear from you and hope you are well.
I will make an official enquiry on your behalf, but I doubt very much that fox culling is on the Council’s agenda. Clearly we cannot let this disgraceful matter to continue.
As you know biodiversity is very much something that the Council protects and encourages.
As for gun-shot noises that could possibly be because of clay pigeon shooting nearby? I know former councillor Vicki Pite had some casework involving that issue.
Whoever is awarded the Whitewebbs licence will have to strictly adhere to Council policy.
I will get back to you as soon as I hear anything.
All the best,
Cllr Hass Yusuf Chase Ward

Dear Hass
Thanks for your prompt reply. I am sure  that it was not clay pigeon shooting – wrong direction and  just a few shots. One of the people who reported it to me is familiar with shooting practice.
I am grateful to you for taking an immediate interest.
Best wishes

No problem Sean – like yourself I do take the environment and biodiversity very seriously. Foxes play an important part in our green spaces – and even urban areas – by keeping rats at bay I hear!
I wish I could give you an update on the Whitewebbs lease, but I too have no further information. But I would like it resolved so we can scrutinise and move forward.
Once I get some answers to your questions I’ll let you know. I have sent off the enquiry.
All the best,