Oil spill at beauty spot prompts wildlife concerns

A clean-up operation is under way at a lake in Warwickshire after "thick, black oil" got into the water, covering birds.

The RSPCA and Severn Trent Water were called to Bermuda Lake in Nuneaton after reports of a spillage.

Geoff Grewcock, from Nuneaton and Bedworth Wildlife Society, said he feared the oil, initially all around the outskirts of the lake, would kill the birds as the few he could see on Thursday were "covered in it".

The BBC has approached the RSPCA, but it is currently unclear how many birds or other animals have been affected.

Duck covered in oil
Some birds appear to have been covered in oil [BBC]

Martin Young, Warwickshire Waste Team Manager at Severn Trent, said a team was working with the Environment Agency, but the source of the oil was not yet known.

Mr Grewcock said the local wildlife group was alerted to the spillage by residents on Thursday morning.

"We went up there and looked around - it looks pretty bad," he said.

"A load of birds have been taken out.

"It's quite devastating really. I would presume a lot of these birds may have to be put to sleep."

He said the oil was clearly visible around the edges of the lake, which is several acres in size and home to about 200 geese, ducks and moorhens.

oil spill
Local residents spotted the oil spill in the water on Thursday morning [BBC]

'It's horrible'

Severn Trent sent staff to the site on Wednesday evening, Mr Grewcock said, adding that residents were very worried about the devastation the spillage could cause.

"It's really, really bad - it's black, thick oil," he said.

"It's come from somewhere and it's very nasty and it should never have happened.

"It's going to devastate that pond. It's going to kill everything."

Geese covered in oil
A family of geese were spotted at the water's edge and they were all covered in oil [BBC]

Comments on the local area's Facebook group, The Arbury, Stockingford and Bermuda Community Page, suggested about 20 birds had been rounded up by the RSPCA, although the organisation has yet to respond.

Mr Young, from Severn Trent, said: "We have a team at Bermuda Lake, working with the RSPCA and Environment Agency to support the clean-up.

"While the source of the pollution has not yet been determined, we will assist the Environment Agency in its investigating into the cause."

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