Reward offered over river pollution

POLLUTERS who spoiled a treasured stream in a popular park today had a bounty placed on their heads – with residents urged to help find them.The Evening Star today announced a £500 reward for information which leads to a successful prosecution in connection with the incident at Felixstowe.

POLLUTERS who spoiled a treasured stream in a popular park today had a bounty placed on their heads – with residents urged to help find them.

The Evening Star today announced a £500 reward for information which leads to a successful prosecution in connection with the incident at Felixstowe.

Families who use Langer Park and live near it were left disgusted after what is believed to be petrol or diesel was spotted in the water of its stream.

The Environment Agency has launched an investigation and said it could prosecute if it turned out the pollution was not caused by accident.

Evening Star editor Nigel Pickover hoped the reward would bring forward information to would help the agency's officials.

"Whoever caused this pollution left a dreadful mess in a park used by local children. Polluters must be caught and dealt with because our environment is important and we must all learn to look after it," he said.

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"The Evening Star is fully committed to Felixstowe and its community and to fighting for the issues which affect its residents."

Environment Agency and Anglian Water officials first received reports from residents last week about a petroleum slick with a sheen or film on top.

Geoffrey Pearman, of nearby Marina Gardens, said: "It is disgusting and awful to think that someone has done this. Wildlife rely on that little piece of water. I have been feeding two families of moorhens on there for the last nine months but now they have vanished.

"It could be that they have just abandoned the area because of the pollution and I just hope they are not lying dead somewhere. Blackbirds and thrushes also drink from the water and feed on the plants on the banks."

An Environment Agency spokeswoman said investigations were on-going.

Samples had been sent away for analysis and the results of these were expected in a few days.

She said if the source was found, a prosecution would take place if it was judged there had been intent to pollute the watercourse. If it was an accident, it may be decided to take no action.

"It could have come through the surface water drainage system and may have come off the soil or off the road. Anglian Water have been helping with the clean up and is lifting drain covers to help find the source," she said.

Officers had put down absorbency pads near the bridge over the water to try to soak up the chemical and a boom to stop it passing any further downstream.

Rain was washing more down and it was believed about two gallons of the chemical had so far entered the stream.

The waterway is believed to be the remnant of a navigable stream which once ran from marshland where Felixstowe port was built. A century ago portworkers would row their boats up the stream to the Ordnance Hotel to spend their pay.

n People with information call the Environment Agency's manned 24-hour hotline on 0800 807060.

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