Mystery over gruesome fish deaths in Harrow Lodge Park
PUBLISHED: 18:21 22 September 2014 | UPDATED: 15:20 23 September 2014
A park volunteer has estimated that 1,000 fish have mysteriously died over the weekend at a park lake.
Harrow Lodge Park volunteer Tom Waller, 61, of Laindon, was told by a fellow volunteer on Saturday about the deaths and witnessed the mass of floating dead fish for himself on Sunday when he went to investigate.
A Havering Council clean up operation took place earlier today after Environmental Health was informed of the fishy deaths at the park in Hornchurch Road, Hornchurch.
The council has also launched an investigation to determine the cause of the catastrophe.
Culture and community cabinet member Cllr Melvin Wallace said: “We believe it’s either due to an extensive amount of un-oxygenated water that entered the lake due to the heavy rainfall over the weekend, or a possible pollutant.
“The Environment Agency has tested the water and we’re currently waiting for the results.”
The fish deaths are not the first animal tragedy to rock the park this year, with Mr Waller and fellow volunteers having to drag more than 20 dying ducks out of the water in June, due to botulism caused by bacteria from mouldy bread.
Mr Waller, who has been a park volunteer for two years, said: “There was some fish still alive and gasping for air when I got there. To walk along the edge of the lake and see that is quite upsetting.
He added: “The seagulls are having an absolute field day - we’re lucky, whatever it is hasn’t affected the birds yet.”
The latest spate of animal deaths at the park has caused the Hornchurch Residents’ Association concern.
Association member Lorraine Moss said: “We lost a few hundred birds last year and now this - it’s such a shame. More should be done to protect the animals and the park.”