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Forget Asbo yobs - badgers are the real menace in New Addington

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BADGERS are causing New Addington residents thousands of pounds' worth of damage.

Badgers from a nearby sett have been causing nuisance during the past year for homes bordering the overgrown land around the Crescent Resource Centre off Salcot Crescent.

Chris and Jackie Gornall, of Walsingham Road, said this week they are getting a quote for badger damage to their fence to be repaired, but think it could run up to £1,000.

Mr Gornall said the animals had appeared suddenly about a year ago, adding: "For a period it was every single night, every single night.

"The garden was carved up so much they would actually take great big chunks out of it.

"We just want rid of them."

That looks unlikely to happen, however, as the species is protected and the level of damage they are causing is not deemed high enough to warrant more drastic action.

Ward councillor George Ayres said he hoped to develop some sort of residents' group to help look after the land and lessen the annoyance.

He said: "Badgers, as I understand, are animals of habit so if you can preserve their exit and entry routes then you can hopefully minimise the damage to the surrounding properties of residents.

"And I thought that the best way you could do that is to prepare the ground which presently is covered in knotweed."

Any action would partly depend on South London and Maudsley (SLaM) Healthcare Trust's plans for its mental health resource centre, which are understood to be under discussion.

The council owns the land, which is thought to be too unstable to develop.

Robert McNamara, 47, of Walsingham Road, has found one semi-effective solution.

He said: "We have put a fence in with concrete going along the bottom but they do seem to come in from next door. Even now when you look at the grass you can see sometimes how they have dug."

Lynsey Merritt, 36, whose parents live on the same road, added: "Mum's got massive holes in her fence from the badgers pushing through.

"We have had to block up the windows in the greenhouse."

Croydon Council said it cannot take any action as badgers are protected and not covered by its pest control services.

A spokesman added: "Concerned residents should consider contacting animal welfare organisations like the RSPCA or more specialist bodies such as the Badger Federation for information and advice."

A spokesman for SLaM said they would be happy to discuss the badger issue with residents.

She added: "No decision has been made about the future of SLaM services on this site and there are no plans to vacate these premises at this stage.

"We are committed to keeping a presence in this locality and alternative premises would be provided should we move from the centre in the future."

Forget Asbo yobs - badgers are the real menace in New Addington


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