Pond crisis claims

POND life in Ipswich is being damaged by alien species and littering louts, it has been claimed today.Joe Underwood, a park ranger for Ipswich Borough Council, said by vandalising trees, leaving rubbish and introducing strange fish to the town's ponds, illegal fisherman are causing chaos across the town.

POND life in Ipswich is being damaged by alien species and littering louts, it has been claimed today.

Joe Underwood, a park ranger for Ipswich Borough Council, said by vandalising trees, leaving rubbish and introducing strange fish to the town's ponds, illegal fisherman are causing chaos across the town.

Cannabis paraphernalia has even been found dumped near a pond in parkland off The Dales.

Now Mr Underwood and concerned councillor, Henry Davies, are urging people to think before they fish, and take more care for the environment.

Mr Underwood said: “There is only one pond you are allowed to fish in in Ipswich, in Chantry Park, but people are fishing anyway in the other ponds.

“They are cutting down trees to create space and have been introducing fish like goldfish into the ponds before they wait for them to grow and go back and fish for them.

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“They don't understand the consequences of their actions. It has a very detrimental affect; it is like introducing an alien species.

“The new fish will eat things like dragon-fly lava and newt eggs which throws the eco-system off balance.

“We are fighting a losing battle to stop it.”

Henry Davies, Ipswich Borough Councillor for the Castle Hill area, echoed Mr Underwood's concerns and said he was particularly worried about the damage being done to the woodland area in Dales Road.

Mr Davies said: “I have had complaints from people that there have been branches broken off and vandalism in the area.

“If this carries on there won't be any fish in the ponds anymore.

“It is upsetting to see the damage that is being done by people who are fishing when they shouldn't be.”

A spokeswoman for the Environment Agency said it was working with rangers in Ipswich to tackle the problems and had recently seized a fishing rod from someone who was fishing without a licence.

She added that people who saw activity which could be detrimental to the environment should call the Agency's hotline, 0800 807060, straight away.

Are you worried about ponds in Ipswich? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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