Chocolate-loving squirrels cause chaos on Ellesmere Port housing estate

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The identity of litter louts who spent months blighting a housing estate with half-eaten chocolate has been revealed - as greedy squirrels.

Locals living in Dudley Crescent in Ellesmere Port became gripped by the 'whodunnit' after Blue Riband bars kept appearing.

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The saga - dubbed 'Wafergate' - was discussed daily on the estate WhatsApp group, with theories and accusations spreading through the community.

The mystery was finally solved after a local who works in a nearby caravan storage facility spotted dozens of Blue Ribands inside a skip. Another resident then spotted squirrels running up a tree with wrappers - and put two and two together.

The saga - dubbed 'Wafergate' - was discussed daily on the estate WhatsApp group, with theories and accusations spreading through the community. Photo: William Lailey/SWNSThe saga - dubbed 'Wafergate' - was discussed daily on the estate WhatsApp group, with theories and accusations spreading through the community. Photo: William Lailey/SWNS
The saga - dubbed 'Wafergate' - was discussed daily on the estate WhatsApp group, with theories and accusations spreading through the community. Photo: William Lailey/SWNS | William Lailey/SWNS

Local Fiona Downes, 33, a full-time mum, said: “I first noticed all these wrappers back in September. We live on a private estate on an ex-RAF base - it’s a very close-knit community.

“I was walking my children and suddenly noticed there’s loads of Blue Riband wrappers everywhere. I posted a picture on our WhatsApp group, asking people to please pick up their wrappers if they've been eating chocolate bars.”

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No one came forward and, over the following months, more wrappers and half-eaten chocolate bars continued to appear.

Fiona said: “It became a big topic among residents. Everyone was desperate to uncover the culprit. It was a big mystery. People were getting annoyed, thinking someone was just littering. While others thought maybe it’s the bin men. Suspicions were growing.”

All became when a resident spotted the skip on a site just behind the estate - with a box of Blue Ribands inside.

Another resident, Natalie Clarke, managed to snap pictures of squirrels scurrying up a tree, chocolate in mouth.

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All became when a resident spotted the skip on a site just behind the estate - with a box of Blue Ribands inside. Photo shows Fiona Downes. Photo: William Lailey/SWNSAll became when a resident spotted the skip on a site just behind the estate - with a box of Blue Ribands inside. Photo shows Fiona Downes. Photo: William Lailey/SWNS
All became when a resident spotted the skip on a site just behind the estate - with a box of Blue Ribands inside. Photo shows Fiona Downes. Photo: William Lailey/SWNS | William Lailey / SWNS

Fiona said: “Squirrels had clearly been in there and stolen them all. We don’t know where their stash is but there was definitely some kind of box of the chocolate bars in the skip. It only took three months to work out!”

Full-time mum Natalie, 42, said: "We spent months finding these wrappers, we all got a bit obsessed and were trying to hunt people down.

"We were trying to work out who buys wafers from Aldi before we realised that squirrels were doing it. When I saw them I was like 'oh my God I've finally found proof'.

"The sheer volume of the bars honestly, they must be going through 100 of them a week."

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Fiona said: “Once somebody had posted the pictures of squirrels it took the excitement away.

“Then it seemed to calm down and we thought they might have finished their supply but in the past few days lots of the wrappers have been appearing again.

Since the discovery of the true culprits, residents say the fury thieves have doubled down, and are on a chocolate rampage. Photo: William Lailey/SWNSSince the discovery of the true culprits, residents say the fury thieves have doubled down, and are on a chocolate rampage. Photo: William Lailey/SWNS
Since the discovery of the true culprits, residents say the fury thieves have doubled down, and are on a chocolate rampage. Photo: William Lailey/SWNS | William Lailey / SWNS

“We’re not sure why the chocolate was left on our property. Maybe it was an out-of-date box."

Fiona added that the whole saga has been “a good bit of fun.”

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She said: “It’s become a huge joke with everyone and we’ve all had a good laugh. I'd like to know how a squirrel opens a chocolate bar. They probably won’t be able to walk now due to putting on so much weight.”

Since the discovery of the true culprits, residents say the fury thieves have doubled down, and are on a chocolate rampage.

Natalie said: "They have ramped it up even more since we found out, every day I'm picking up wrappers out of rose bushes. It's been hilarious working it out."

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