Mystery pollution incident kills rare crayfish, fills river with scum and creates village stink (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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Mystery pollution incident kills rare crayfish and creates village stink
A MYSTERIOUS pollution incident is being blamed for killing a protected species of fish and causing an ‘obnoxious’ smell.
Brooks at Brigsteer and Scroggs Wood, Kendal, have both been turned a blueish grey colour and smell like an open sewer, claim nearby residents.
Graham Teasdale, who lives on South Lumley Road, claims white-clawed crayfish, a protected and endan-gered species, have disappeared from the waterway which feeds into the River Kent.
He says that the pollution is so toxic that it has also got rid of all the moss and other water vegeta-tion – leaving only a stinking brown sludge.
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“It’s one of the most unpleasant experiences I have ever had,” said Mr Teasdale, who regularly walks his dogs through the woods.
“You can’t even go there now because of the smell. There’s so much pollution in what was a beautiful area.”
In Brigsteer, Richard Frank, who has lived next to the village brook for eight years, said he has never seen the watercourse in such a a poor state.
“I have foaming scum in my water features, which are fed from the brook,” he said. “This is a beautiful area and we don’t like seeing it ruined by careless actions. I think people should be prosecuted for things like this.”
Mr Frank says he cannot open the windows in his house because the smell is so unpleasant and his two young children cannot play outside.
A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: “We are aware of the recurring water pollution at Scroggs Wood and understand the concerns of local residents affected by the unpleasant smell.
“We have had around 20 reports of contamination and bad smells. While we can’t pinpoint the source at this stage our officers are investigating.
“It’s likely it would be a slurry run off from a farm but we are currently investigating and trying to trace the source.
“Until our investigation is complete we urge anyone with information about the brook to contact us on our 24-hour incident hotline 0800-807060.”
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