West Suffolk environmentalists have expressed their concern after their local river appeared to dry up, causing fish, plants and other river life to die.

Environmental campaign group Green Ixworth captured images from the Black Bourn river which they say shows that "our rivers are dying".

The first image was taken on July 4, 2021, and the second was photographed on July 6, 2022 - the comparison shows that the water reservoir has receded from the riverbanks.

Green Ixworth's chair Roger Spiller said: "We are very concerned by the present local crisis and working with others to identify solutions and put them to the Environment Agency.

"Due to long-term cuts in government funding, the Environment Agency is now normally unable to investigate complaints because they lack the staff and so are even less likely to prosecute.

"Perhaps our local MPs can help ensure the government properly funds the agency to enable it to do its job of mitigating climate change and allowing residents to enjoy the scent of wild plants, not the stench of dying fish."

An Environment Agency spokesman said: "We are aware that rivers and reservoirs across England are under stress. East Anglia is the driest region in the country, and we have had a very low rainfall spring and an extremely hot dry start to summer.

"The highlighted impacts on the Black Bourn river are an example of the effects of climate change, increased water demand from population growth and demands from farming for crop irrigation. The difference noted is essentially about the lack of rainfall this year as compared with 2021."

This news comes after the Environment Agency's latest annual environmental report for water companies said it was the "worst we have seen for years", as serious pollution incidents increased to 62 in 2021.

Anglian Water was among three other companies rated two stars in the report, which means they require significant improvement.

In April, protesters marched through Woodbridge to highlight the state of the River Deben and rising levels of potentially harmful e.coli bacteria found in the river's tributaries and the effects of overflowing sewage from nearby drains.

A report published in May by Essex and Suffolk Rivers Trust said there are currently no rivers in Suffolk meeting the target for all watercourses nationally to achieve a 'Good' or 'Good Potential' status by 2027.