Serious pollution incident threatens wildlife at Doncaster nature reserve

Wildlife has been put under threat by a two-mile oil slick at one of Doncaster's most famous nature reserves

Officials at the Environment Agency have been called in to deal with the slick, described as a ‘serious pollution incident’ near the Potteric Carr Nature Reserve, Doncaster. 

Environment Agency officers at the site of an oil slick in a stream called the mother drain,  which goes through Potteric Carr nature reserve, Doncaster, before joining the Rover Torne

Environment Agency officers at the site of an oil slick in a stream called the mother drain, which goes through Potteric Carr nature reserve, Doncaster, before joining the Rover Torne

Staff at the reserve say they are aware of the incident, which affects a stream known as the Mother Drain, which flows into the River Torne. The slick has been stopped before it reached the river, says the Environment Agency.

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Agency officers have managed to contain the oil slick with absorbent booms and oil absorbent pads have also been brought in to start the clear up process.

As oil floats on the surface of the water, these booms stop it spreading and the pads soak it up without interfering with wildlife and the flow of the river.

Whilst the exact source of the oil has still not been established, EA officials said in a statement it has been narrowed down to the nearby Balby Carr Industrial Estate area.

There is no further oil coming from the drain, but protective measures will stay in place over the weekend in case the forecast rain washes more through the system, said a spokesman.

Rosie Foster, Area Incident Controller, at the Environment Agency said: “We look to have contained the pollution for now with the booms we put out across the river so we can now concentrate on the clean-up.

“It is hard to judge the environmental impact at this point, but as oil generally sits on top of the water the aquatic life below should be ok, although we will be keeping a close eye for wildlife that has come into contact with the oil and the riverbanks for any effects.”

“Investigations are ongoing to find the exact source of the oil and we have taken samples to allow us to identify the exact type of oil involved. If anybody has information about where the oil came from or if a local business has had an accident that they have not yet reported to us could they please contact our helpline.”

If you see or suspect illegal waste activities, report it anonymously to Crimestoppers or call 0800 555 111.