Rescue operation for park fish

A RESCUE operation will begin in the next few days to save more than 1,000 fish from oxygen starvation in Christchurch Park.

A RESCUE operation will begin in the next few days to save more than 1,000 fish from oxygen starvation in Christchurch Park.

Park staff have been contacted by members of the public who have seen dead fish in the round pond and others gasping for air.

An urgent appeal has been issued today to deter people from throwing bread into the water for ducks, as it only adds to the lack of oxygen.

In a temporary measure firefighters have been called in to drain water from the pond and then spray it back to create more oxygen.

You may also want to watch:

Sam Pollard, manager of Christchurch Park, said: “We are hoping to give the fish a few more days of oxygen, before we can get them out. We are trying to do our best to get the fish out alive.”

Mr Pollard added there are a number of factors contributing to the current plight. Aside from the bread, the pond needs dredging and its broken pump needs replacing.

Most Read

The rise in daytime temperatures also adds to the oxygen depletion, along with the lack of oxygenating plants.

Mr Pollard said his staff, working with the Gipping Angling Preservation Society and the Environment Agency, will be removing and re-homing the fish as soon as they can.

However, something which will help immensely in the short term is for people not to pursue the traditional pastime of throwing bread to the ducks.

Workers at the park have seen the feeding frenzy grow from a slice or two, to whole loaves being torn up by families and thrown into the water in the mistaken belief it helps the ducks.

Mr Pollard said: “There's no quality to it. It's like giving you children chips and burgers. It is not actually providing the ducks with any nutrition. Most of the bread just goes to the bottom of the pond and adds to the silt.

“What we would like to happen this year is no more feeding the ducks in the pond and as of next year we would like people to feed away from the pond. A single crust of bread is all you need.”

The pond is due to be drained and repaired in the autumn to provide a better environment for the wildlife.

It will be dredged, cleaned and dug back to its original shape and depth. A fully working water pump will also be installed.

N What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter