SpOILed: Residents demand ‘strongest action’ after oil slick pollutes Horncastle river

An oil leak in the River Bain. Main photo: Horncastle Community Page.
An oil leak in the River Bain. Main photo: Horncastle Community Page.

Angry residents are demanding the Environment Agency takes ‘the strongest action possible’ against whoever is responsible for allowing oil to pollute the River Bain.

Several people contacted the News last Wednesday after an oil slick was spotted on the Bain near Tesco Bridge.

The slick was close to ducks and other wildfowl which are a popular attraction in the town.

The EA say they don’t believe any wildlife was killed and there was no persistent impact on the ‘ecology of the river’.

The agency has also described the incident as a ‘one off’.

However, some residents claim that is not the case and want the perpetrators brought to justice.

Alison Pitman said: “It’s a disgrace something like this can happen.

“It’s not the first time.

“The oil was just a few yards from the ducks.

“My grandkids love feeding the ducks. They could see the oil and kept asking what it was.

“There’s all the fish and other wildlife. People know who is responsible. They need to be fined and made to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

Martin Bramley said he spotted the slick and was worried it might kill wildlife.

He said: “It looked dreadful. The oil was stuck in some weeds.

“One woman I was talking to said there was a slick earlier this year, and some fish were killed.

“Whoever is responsible should be ashamed, but they’ll get away with it. They always do. The people who do this sort of thing don’t care.”

The spillage came just a few days before volunteers from Horncastle’s ‘RiverCare’ Group carried out a clean-up of the Bain.

Spokesman Michael Hieatt said: “I had first noticed the oil on the Bain last week and so had added it to our risk assessment (re getting it on exposed skin, picking up items from the water which could have a oily slime on them etc).

“In the event, it proved to be not so bad as the spillage that occurred last summer when rubbish fetched out of the river was quite oily.

“It (oil) was noticeable on the water in the Bain last Saturday but trying to deal with it was regrettably outside our scope for the day although we were asked by a passer-by whether we were trying to sort the problem.”

In their statement, the EA said: “Our officers dealt with an oil spillage of unknown quantity in the River Bain.

“While the source of the pollution has not yet been identified, we believe from our observations that this was a single one off event rather than a persistent leak.

“We do not believe the impacts on the river ecology will be significant or persistent but we will continue to monitor the oil spill and investigate its source.

“Anyone with information on this or any other pollution incidents should call the Environment Agency hot line on 0800 80 70 60.”

“We have received no reports of wildlife being seriously affected by the spillage.”