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Fish found dead in Ipswich park pond after weeds turn water green

PUBLISHED: 16:37 06 August 2019 | UPDATED: 22:11 06 August 2019

Stonelodge Park, in the Chantry area of Ipswich, has a pond with dangerously low oxygen levels, causing the death of several fish Picture: JAKE FOXFORD

Stonelodge Park, in the Chantry area of Ipswich, has a pond with dangerously low oxygen levels, causing the death of several fish Picture: JAKE FOXFORD

JAKE FOXFORD

Dead fish have been spotted at a pond in an Ipswich park after extreme weather left the water without any oxygen.

Smaller than Chantry Park, Stonelodge Park also has a pond - but fish have been found dead in the water due to a lack of oxygen Picture: JAKE FOXFORDSmaller than Chantry Park, Stonelodge Park also has a pond - but fish have been found dead in the water due to a lack of oxygen Picture: JAKE FOXFORD

Stonelodge Park, in the Chantry area of Ipswich, has a wildlife pond surrounded by wildflowers and willow trees, but extreme heat and storms in recent weeks have left the fish in the water starved of oxygen.

The pond is now covered with a thick layer of duckweed, stopping any light reaching plants and creatures beneath the water's surface.

An Ipswich Borough Council spokesman said: "We are aware of the habitat problems at Stonelodge Park and we are trying to find an effective solution.

"This is happening in many parts of the country and is caused by a deterioration in oxygen levels when heavy rain follows hot dry spells."

Debris at the water's edge has been left stuck in duckweed after the green mass took hold of the surface of the pond in a park in Ipswich Picture: JAKE FOXFORDDebris at the water's edge has been left stuck in duckweed after the green mass took hold of the surface of the pond in a park in Ipswich Picture: JAKE FOXFORD

The spokesman confirmed a number of fish have died as a result of the lack of oxygen in the water. A spokesman from the Environment Agency said: "Officers have visited Stonelodge Park in Ipswich after receiving reports of dead fish in the pond.

"Summer can see agency staff responding to many reports of fish in distress.

"Hot, sunny weather can reduce the dissolved oxygen on which fish depend. Low rainfall increases the risk, by reducing river flows and still water levels, like ponds and lakes. Small, still waters are particularly susceptible."

This pond is the latest body of water in Suffolk to be blighted by sudden drops in oxygen levels after a sluice in Kessingland was spotted with more than 1,000 dead fish in it.

The layer of duckweed obscure how deep the pond at Stonelodge Park is, but visitors are warned not to fish, dive or swim there for their own safety Picture: JAKE FOXFORDThe layer of duckweed obscure how deep the pond at Stonelodge Park is, but visitors are warned not to fish, dive or swim there for their own safety Picture: JAKE FOXFORD

The fish were first spotted on Sunday, July 28, by a dog walker from the town who said: "It's smelling and it's horrible.

"I want to warn people against going there. Keep dogs and children away."

A spokesman said the 1,000 fish affected were mainly roach and there was no obvious source of pollution causing the deaths.

They added that the situation was "unfortunate", but the agency would not be able to remove the dead fish "as our teams are responding to similar incidents across East Anglia, focusing resources on where we can save fish".

If people see dead fish or fish gasping for breath, call the Environment Agency on 0800 80 70 60.

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