Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 10°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

Sudbury: Wildlife group hits out over open sluice gates after previous incident led to death of fish

12:30 02 January 2013

The Mill Cut, off the River Stour in Sudbury has been left to run almost dry after sluice gates were left open, diverting the water.

The Mill Cut, off the River Stour in Sudbury has been left to run almost dry after sluice gates were left open, diverting the water.

Archant

WILDLIFE enthusiasts have criticised the Environment Agency for leaving the sluice gates on a west Suffolk river open after heavy rain had ceased.

Last May, the agency promised a review of its procedures after wildlife in a mill stream off the river Stour in Sudbury was put at risk when staff left a sluice gate open for several days, leaving the stream virtually empty of water. The incident led to dozens of fish deaths.

But on Monday, members of the local Swan Watch group expressed concerns that the gates had again been left open following a period of heavy rain last week – despite a break in the wet weather and drier spells being forecast.

When the gates are closed, water is channelled toward a mill pond via the mill stream. If water levels rise, the gates are opened to allow water to flow out of the river and control flooding.

Group member Roy Spicer said he was disappointed that “nothing had changed” in the way the Environment Agency operated the gate.

He said: “I called them on Monday morning at 6.30am to warn them that the water levels were dropping and that there were dry shingle areas already appearing on some banks. By the time the duty flood officer got back to me later in the day, the water had dropped by 3ft.

“What concerns me is that they still didn’t seem to be willing to accept that this could cause a problem for the wildlife and I was told they only had a few staff working over New Year so they would be unlikely to come out and close the gates.” He added: “It is alarming how quickly we could get into a situation where the mill stream is empty again and it’s very disappointing that nothing has been learnt from the incident in May.”

A spokeswoman for the Environment Agency told the EADT that operation of the sluice gate was part of the agency’s work to “manage flood risk to property”.

She added: “As the river levels have been high in recent weeks, the gates have been left open to let the water through on to the meadows.

“We are expecting a few drier days so it is likely we will look at closing them again over the next few days. We will certainly be monitoring the situation very closely and then a decision will be taken on when to close the gates.”

0 comments

Dave Lock decompressing on the line

Scuba divers searching the first British warship to sink in the First World War have made a “remarkable” discovery.

The scene of a fatality at the Gipsy Lane pedestrian rail crossing

Network Rail faces a potential multi-million pound payout after admitting safety failures at a rail crossing where an 82-year-old Suffolk actress was killed.

Worker admits theft by employee

A building society customer manager has admitted stealing £17,500 from her employer.

Police are investigating. Stock image.

A 21-year-old man is due to appear before magistrates today after a takeaway delivery driver was held up in Haverhill.

Members of the Catholic Heritage Group, Colchester Museum and Colchester Arts Centre gathered for the donation of a copy of an ancient scroll.

A previously undiscovered mediaeval scroll found in the archives of the British Library by a “thrilled” local historian could answer several mysteries surrounding Colchester’s abbey.

Rail workers and police at the Gipsy Lane crossing in Needham Market after the death of Brenda McFarland there in August 2011.

Work is continuing to improve safety at a level crossing in a Suffolk town where a woman died four years ago.

Man in court on pornography charges

An Ipswich businessman has appeared in court charged with outraging public decency, making more than 15,000 indecent images of children and having extreme pornography.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24