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Peterborough: Environmental catastrophe as thousands of fish die

Anglia Water are backtracking through storm drains to try and identify the source of the contamination

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An urgent investigation is under way to find out the source of contamination that has caused the death of thousands of fish in the streams entering Nene Park, Peterborough. Environment Agency officials are at the scene and working alongside Anglia Water to carry out an urgent investigation. 

Environmental catastrophe: Pollution has killed thousands of fish in Peterborough streams PHOTO: Terry Harris

Pictured the fish – white dots, can be seen along the banks as they attempt to get out of the contaminated water.
Thousands of dead and dying fish have been found along a stretch of river near Nene Park. Golds Lane, Peterborough
Tuesday 12 December 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

Environmental catastrophe: Pollution has killed thousands of fish in Peterborough streams PHOTO: Terry Harris

Pictured the fish – white dots, can be seen along the banks as they attempt to get out of the contaminated water.
Thousands of dead and dying fish have been found along a stretch of river near Nene Park. Golds Lane, Peterborough
Tuesday 12 December 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

Environmental catastrophe: Pollution has killed thousands of fish in Peterborough streams PHOTO: Terry Harris

Pictured the fish – white dots, can be seen along the banks as they attempt to get out of the contaminated water.
Thousands of dead and dying fish have been found along a stretch of river near Nene Park. Golds Lane, Peterborough
Tuesday 12 December 2023.
Picture by Terry Harris.

Those spoken to at the scene today by CambsNews have warned of an environmental catastrophe.

The dead fish are thought to have been spotted earlier today by groundsmen at the nearby golf club who alerted the authorities.

One onlooker said: “The incident was reported to the river bailiffs – you could hear fish popping out of the water to try and escape.”

Environmental catastrophe: Pollution has killed thousands of fish in Peterborough streams PHOTO: Terry Harris

Pictured the fish – white dots, can be seen along the banks as they attempt to get out of the contaminated water.
Thousands of dead and dying fish have been found along a stretch of river near Nene Park. Golds Lane, Peterborough
Tuesday 12 December 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

Environmental catastrophe: Pollution has killed thousands of fish in Peterborough streams PHOTO: Terry Harris

Pictured the fish – white dots, can be seen along the banks as they attempt to get out of the contaminated water.
Thousands of dead and dying fish have been found along a stretch of river near Nene Park. Golds Lane, Peterborough
Tuesday 12 December 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

Environmental catastrophe: Pollution has killed thousands of fish in Peterborough streams PHOTO: Terry Harris

Thousands of dead and dying fish have been found along a stretch of river near Nene Park. Golds Lane, Peterborough
Tuesday 12 December 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

Anglia Water are backtracking through storm drains to try and identify the source of the contamination.

They have moved into the Orton Southgate area checking and taking samples of water for testing.

Environmental catastrophe: Pollution has killed thousands of fish in Peterborough streams PHOTO: Terry Harris

Pictured P&DAA Bailiffs attempt to save as many fish as possible until they were advised to stop as the nature of the contamination was unknown. Thousands of dead and dying fish have been found along a stretch of river near Nene Park. Golds Lane, Peterborough Tuesday 12 December 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

Environmental catastrophe: Pollution has killed thousands of fish in Peterborough streams PHOTO: Terry Harris

Pictured P&DAA Bailiffs attempt to save as many fish as possible until they were advised to stop as the nature of the contamination was unknown. Thousands of dead and dying fish have been found along a stretch of river near Nene Park. Golds Lane, Peterborough Tuesday 12 December 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

 

Environmental catastrophe: Pollution has killed thousands of fish in Peterborough streams PHOTO: Terry Harris

Pictured P&DAA Bailiffs attempt to save as many fish as possible until they were advised to stop as the nature of the contamination was unknown. Thousands of dead and dying fish have been found along a stretch of river near Nene Park. Golds Lane, Peterborough Tuesday 12 December 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

Environmental catastrophe: Pollution has killed thousands of fish in Peterborough streams PHOTO: Terry Harris

Pictured P&DAA Bailiffs attempt to save as many fish as possible until they were advised to stop as the nature of the contamination was unknown. Thousands of dead and dying fish have been found along a stretch of river near Nene Park. Golds Lane, Peterborough Tuesday 12 December 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

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Environmental catastrophe: Pollution has killed thousands of fish in Peterborough streams PHOTO: Terry Harris

Pictured Environment Agencie’s James Hooker, Fisheries Team Leader inspects river. Thousands of dead and dying fish have been found along a stretch of river near Nene Park. Golds Lane, Peterborough  Tuesday 12 December 2023.
Picture by Terry Harris.

Nene Park officials meanwhile have urged visitors to keep dogs out of the water to avoid them coming into contact with polluted water.

Environmental catastrophe: Pollution has killed thousands of fish in Peterborough streams PHOTO: Terry Harris

Pictured Environment Agencie’s James Hooker, Fisheries Team Leader inspects river. Thousands of dead and dying fish have been found along a stretch of river near Nene Park. Golds Lane, Peterborough Tuesday 12 December 2023.
Picture by Terry Harris.

“We have been informed that the streams coming from the south are bringing polluted water into the Park,” said a post to the Park’s Facebook page.

“The Environment Agency is sending a team over to assess the situation, but we can see that the pollution is high by the high number of dead fish in the water.

Environmental catastrophe: Pollution has killed thousands of fish in Peterborough streams PHOTO: Terry Harris

Pictured Anglian Water spotted checking man hole cover to back track the contamination before removing some samples in Orton Southgate for testing. Thousands of dead and dying fish have been found along a stretch of river near Nene Park. Golds Lane, Peterborough Tuesday 12 December 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

Environmental catastrophe: Pollution has killed thousands of fish in Peterborough streams PHOTO: Terry Harris

Pictured Anglian Water spotted checking to trace the contamination before removing some samples in Orton Southgate for testing. Thousands of dead and dying fish have been found along a stretch of river near Nene Park.,
Golds Lane, Peterborough Tuesday 12 December 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

Environmental catastrophe: Pollution has killed thousands of fish in Peterborough streams PHOTO: Terry Harris

Pictured Anglian Water spotted checking to track the contamination before removing some samples in Orton Southgate for testing. Thousands of dead and dying fish have been found along a stretch of river near Nene Park. Golds Lane, Peterborough Tuesday 12 December 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

“We will update as soon as we have more information but please keep yourselves and your dogs safe.”

In a later post, park officials said: “We are awaiting further updates from the Environment Agency to determine exactly how many of the waterways in the park are affected.

“Therefore, we are advising that visitors and their dogs stay away from the river and lakes as much as possible until we have more information.”

Photographer Terry Harris has been at the scene this afternoon and described it as “emotionally distressing” to see dying fish trying to get out of the water.

He said the fish include Perch, Tench, Roach, and Rudd.

Officials are also concerned about a knock-on effect of other animals – such as otters – or birds swooping down for the dead fish who could then spread contamination.

Peterborough District Angling Association head bailiff Jonathan Meads believes the cause is a chemical spill.

(More to follow)

 

 

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