There has been a “temporary ceasefire” on killing foxes on Beddington Farmlands after backlash from locals.

It comes after a resident, who wished to remain anonymous, claimed he became aware of the cull when someone with a rifle was spotted on the land.

Valencia Waste Management, previously Viridor, which is responsible for restoring the Beddington Farmlands, claimed the killing of foxes is necessary to protect birds on the nature reserve.

In a Facebook post, Carshalton and Wallington Labour confirmed that the culling had been paused temporarily.

Local animal rights activist Saffron Gloyne has been calling for answers since the LDRS broke the news of the fox cull last week and said she and others would be ensuring the “ceasefire” was really happening.

Like other locals she is worried that fox cubs will starve to death if their parents are killed at this time of year.

She said: “Obviously I don’t agree with it from a moral point of view. But this has all come about from mismanagement, they did not make the investment in fox proof fences and now they have gone for the cheapest option.

“This is what happens when a waste management company manages a nature reserve. I am furious about a lot of things but most of all it is damaging the most vulnerable animals which are the cubs.

"They are [planning on] killing their parents at a time that their babies are so dependent on them; it will kill them in two weeks.”

Carshalton and Wallington Labour said: “We are pleased to hear that a temporary ceasefire of the shooting of foxes on the Beddington Farmlands has been achieved and fully support the community work that helped bring this about.”

It went on to accuse Sutton Council of allowing the shoot to take place as an “easy way out” for the waste management company.

It is understood a meeting on the matter took place on Friday (May 5), but Sutton Council and Valencia Waste Management failed to respond to a request for comment.

A spokesperson for Valencia previously said: “It has been established that foxes have been gaining access to habitats through anti-predator fences and additional management procedures were required.”