An extra special treat today courtesy of local Wapping photographer Vickie Flores – the Wapping Fox Family Portrait!
Vickie can usually be found loitering outside 10 Downing Street with the rest of the national press photographers but much prefers to be taking photographs of our amazing E1W wildlife.
She spotted the six (or seven) members of the Wapping Fox Family enjoying the sunshine outside their earth on the waste ground at the junction of Wapping High Street and Brewhouse Lane yesterday.
This is the same spot the Wapping Mole took a photo of one of the family a few days ago.
As all of Wapping is aware this waste ground is due to be developed and LW has heard some rumours that the developers will be clearing this waste ground this week.
Well they can’t because it is illegal.
Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981
Clearing the vegetation in July risks disturbing nesting birds, which would be a breach of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 and the landowner has to conduct a survey for nesting birds before any clearance.
Wild Mammals Protection Act 1996
As the Wapping foxes have an earth on the site it would be a breach of the Wild Mammals Protection Act 1996 to bulldoze it with the animals underground.
Horrific thought. But we have no doubt that the developers will obey the law to the letter, especially with lots of Wapping residents keeping an eye on the situation.
MPS Dedicated Wildlife Crime Unit
Any contravention of the law is a matter for the police and Wapping residents can report any allegations of such crimes via the 101 number or by using the online 101 reporting system.
The Met Police has a dedicated Wildlife Crime Unit and LW has no doubt they would deal with any allegations with due process.
LW’s would also like to remind people that hunting wild animals with dogs is also illegal.
Hunting wild animals with dogs is a crime
We are aware that one Wapping resident in particular (who we cannot identify for legal reasons) enjoys using his dog to hunt squirrels in Wapping Gardens. Please keep an eye out for this. If you should see his dog stalking squirrels – or any other animal – easiest thing is to distract the dog by shouting at it and or getting in its way.
And then reporting the owner to the police via 101.
Apart from ripping squirrels to pieces there is also the obvious risk of this person allowing his dog to hunt animals in a park used by lots of small children.
Eyes open Wapping!
So if everyone can keep an eye on the waste ground (without disturbing the Wapping Fox Family) for any unusual activity such as extra ‘security’ type vehicles appearing the foxes would be most appreciative.
Please remember that the welfare of the wildlife is paramount.
We already have several residents on the case with this – including night time – but the more the merrier.
Photo geek nonsense
Vickie used a Canon 5D M3 with a Canon 4.5 / 5.6 100-400 mm zoom lens and ‘cropped the hell’ out of the images.
They still look great though!
Most important piece of kit she used was one of her many trusty stools as you can see in the photo of her hard at work.
Far more important than any whizzy camera.
Related Internet Links
- Tower Habitats – Wildlife for People
- Wild Mammals Protection Act
- Wildlife & Countryside A
- Tower Hamlets Council Biodiversity
- Green space information for Greater London
- London Wildlife Trust
- UK Biodiversity Action Plan
- 10 Fascinating Facts About Foxes for Kids – Peta
- Fascinating Foxy Facts – Woodland Trust