Lodges shut after thousands of dead fish found

Better times: Withnell Angling Club are currently unable to use Farington Lodge due to contamination
Better times: Withnell Angling Club are currently unable to use Farington Lodge due to contamination

Thousands of fish have been found dead at Farington Lodges.

The discovery was made at the weekend, with local residents and members of the Withnell Angling Club wading into the water to remove dead fish and transfer those still alive – approximately 200, including bream, roach and carp – to the smaller lodger, which was unaffected.

South Ribble Council, which owns the site in Lodge Lane has now closed the it as a safety precaution. Dog walkers are also being asked to keep their animals on a lead because the waters could pose a health risk.

The Environment Agency (EA) has been at on site since Saturday afternoon, using aeration units to raise the oxygen levels in the water. Yesterday there were six aeration units still running and oxygen levels were at 15 per cent.

Councillor Peter Mullineaux said: “Everyone is working very hard to return the lodges back to normal, but in the meantime the Environment Agency has advised that we close the site to the public and it’s likely to remain closed for the next few days.

“Once people heard what had happened the local community and the angling club worked together to clear the water and rescue any live fish, but I understand that the number of fish lost runs into thousands.”

The popular lodges are close to Whitfire Ltd, a wood shavings and sawdust supplier, whose premises were seriously damaged in a fire last week.

It is not yet known if this has lead to any water contamination.

An EA spokesman said: “There are two situations that can cause oxygen levels to drop. One is algal bloom and the other is the presence of chemicals in the water. At this stage we are still investigating.”