Disease and hot weather kills swans and geese in Harrow Lodge Park

PUBLISHED: 11:26 12 July 2018 | UPDATED: 11:26 12 July 2018

Around 80 dead swans and geese have found in the lake at Harrow Lodge Park.

Around 80 dead swans and geese have found in the lake at Harrow Lodge Park.


More than 100 dead birds have so far been found at a park this week, as the hot weather causes a potent outbreak of botulism in a lake.

Around 80 dead swans and geese have found in the lake at Harrow Lodge Park.Around 80 dead swans and geese have found in the lake at Harrow Lodge Park.

Volunteers at Harrow Lodge park, Hornchurch, have been spending their time helping to clear up the bodies of swans and geese who have been killed by the disease.

Those that are taken ill have been taken to The Swan Sanctuary, a charity dedicated to the treatment of swans and waterfowl in Shepperton, for them to get better.

Some pigeons and blackbirds have also been affected according to volunteers.

Resident Dave Gold, 76, who lives by the park, says it is an upsetting sight to see.

“These poor birds are dying for no reason, the council isn’t doing enough to help them”, he said.

“It’s very sad to see this yet again and so many of them as well.

“It’s a disgrace that this continues to happen to our wildlife when we should be doing more to help especially during the hot weather.”

Botulism is a disease in lakes produced by botulinum bacterium.

It is caused when air temperatures rise and water and oxygen levels drop.

It also thrives in hot, dry weather.

Over the past few years, the Recorder has reported on numerous occasions the high number of birds that have been killed by the outbreak.

A Havering Council spokesman says the local authority has been increasing the air circulation in the lake following the lack of rainfall and high temperatures.

He said: “Botulism is a naturally occurring bacteria which thrives in high temperatures.

“Council staff are working hard to control the situation by making sure oxygen levels are maintained.

“We are using water pumps and we had already installed additional fountains and wind power pumps to try to reduce outbreaks.

“We are also addressing the problems with the amount of bread that is being left in the lake from people feeding birds.

“This increases the risk of bacteria and we ask people to use alternatives such as oats and other grains.”

Latest Romford News Stories


When the fighting ended in November 1918, Havering’s prisoners of war came home. As Prof Ged Martin reports, many had suffered a hard time

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our Met Office video forecast.

In recent weeks we have brought you the stories of families who have found a lifeline in Hornchurch charity First Step.


I like science fiction. I grew up wearing glasses so I didn’t have much say in the matter.

Yesterday, 16:54

A former Bomber Command rear gunner who lied about his age so he could join the RAF during the Second World War died in Romford last week.

Yesterday, 15:55

The brutal murder of an 85-year-old great-grandmother bludgeoned to death in her Romford home by a debt-ridden gardener has left a “hole in her family that will never ever be filled”.

Yesterday, 15:00

The mother of a three-year-old with a rare genetic condition described a Hornchurch charity that supports youngsters with disabilities and special needs as “their shoulder to cry on”.


From November, The Mercury in Romford begins to celebrate Christmas. The mall has plenty of gift ideas, fun events and activities for everyone

Vauxhall has completed its sport utility vehicle range with the third, and largest, Grandland X. We put the SUV, now available at Tony LeVoi in Romford, to the test.

“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining,” so the saying goes. So if some warm weather is making your conservatory uninhabitable, think about replacing its roof with a flat one and adding a roof lantern instead.

Newsletter Sign Up

Romford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

News from your area


A Romford photographer impressed the judges of a national creative photography competition with a picture of a stunning sunset.

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now