River Colne spill endangers fish

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A PESTICIDE spill has sparked efforts to rescue endangered fish from the River Colne near Halstead.

A farm trailer overturned on Wednesday, spilling 5,000 litres of chemicals directly into Topplesfield Brook. The Environment Agency attempted to minimise the impact and prevent the spill travelling further downstream.

Two teams in boats were deployed to rescue fish and monitor environmental damage and continued their efforts on Monday, while Anglian Water pumped water into the river between Great Yeldham and Castle Hedingham over the weekend to dilute the pesticide.

Frank Saunders, from the Environment Agency, said: “We have removed 1,500 fish so far and relocated them to safe areas.

“Unfortunately, fish and invertebrates in five kilometres of the River Colne downstream from Great Yeldham have been affected. We will continue fish rescue operations for as long as considered necessary.”

There is no expected impact on the public water supply. However, people are advised to keep their dogs on leads in the area and to stop them entering the water.

A full biological survey of the affected river will take place as the Environment Agency investigates the cause of the spill.