More than 100 ducks and six swans were left covered in diesel – after heavy rain was thought to have caused an oil slick at Shipley Country Park.
A clean-up operation was launched at Osbourne’s Pond at the Derbyshire County Council-run beauty spot on Wednesday last week (July 24), at 9am, when onlookers reported seeing an oily substance on the water surface.
Environment Agency officers immediately attended the scene and spent until Friday using water-based ‘absorbent pads’ to mop up the diesel.
The cause of the spill is as yet unknown, although Environment Agency officer Paul Reeves tweeted on Wednesday last week:
“Suspect that yesterday’s heavy rain has washed some accumulated oil out of surface-water drains.”
The spill was not thought to have been deliberate pollution.
RSPCA officers were also called to the scene and it was initially thought the animal charity would remain on site to help clean the affected bird population.
However, after inspection, the fuel covering the ducks and swans was not thought to be life-threatening to the wildlife.
Park ranger John Holmes said: “The RSPCA decided the amount of contamination on the birds was less serious than first thought, so we have left them on the pond, rather than cause them unnecessary distress by handling them.
“There have been no casualties.”
A spokesman for the Environment Agency says it will continue to investigate the source of the spill.
Mr Holmes added: “The Environment Agency and ourselves were quick to act. Thankfully this has had a happy ending.”