It’s been a slow news month for Thamesmead, which is a good thing, since the previous big news in the area was the killing of some poor old lady who was robbed, tied up, and left to die in her house.

Passing over that, swiftly, though, the latest headlines are all about the insects. First up we have one Dave Crouchman who spotted a dangerous spider in his garage. His reluctance to park his car in there subsequently made headlines. “I am scared of spiders in general, until I held a tarantula at a wildlife park – I still don’t like them but am more tolerant now,” quotes the News Shopper website, leaving me to wonder why an arachnophone felt the urge to call the local press over a case of being disturbed by the proximity of a spider. I can’t say I’d have recognised a deadly spider from any other.

More recently, we come into contact with webs again in the headlines, this time the product of caterpillars. It seems a lot of them have congregated around some bushes near Belmarsh Prison and created a large protective web. This is unusual only in terms of its size, but again it’s seen as news-worthy, this time being reported with even less sensational quotes such as the local expert’s view on things: “The caterpillars are harmless to us, but I reckon those bushes are stuffed.” Apparantly the elderly neighbourhood is stunned and has never seen anything like it.

Local news at its raciest? Perhaps not.

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