CONCERNS have been raised by walkers who believe an oil leakage in the River Dearne is having a detrimental impact on the borough’s wildlife.

Cundy Cross and Lundwood residents have spent the past few months reporting oil in the watercourse having spotted dead fish.

The oil, which has been spotted numerous times along the Trans Pennine Trail, has left Luke Maw, from Kendray, with major concerns.

The 31-year-old frequents the trail regularly and has told the Chronicle it is an ongoing problem that’s having a detrimental affects on the environment.

“I believe this is coming from a nearby dismantling factory in Lundwood which leaves oil and diesel to run-off from their yard,” Luke said.

“On Saturday morning, at around 9am, I was walking along the trail next to the The Mill of The Black Monks restaurant where I saw a substantial amount of oil coming down the stream.

“I have major concerns because you can see the fish topping and looking like they were struggling for air - it was horrible.

“Either way, if the fish are topping, they will be ingesting the pollution in the water.

In Text Promo Image

“I have reported this to the Environmental Agency numerous times and have had a lot of people tell me they’ve done the same for the past year but nothing has been done.

“I was told that the Environment Agency was sending an officer down to Cundy Cross but have not had any updates.

“This has been well-documented throughout the past year, with many people raising their concerns on the River Dearne Fishing Facebook page over a period of a few months.

“Something urgently needs to be done to protect of wildlife and the environment.”

The Environmental Agency confirmed it had received numerous reports from worried residents and that action has been taken by officials.

A spokesperson said: “We’re investigating an incident of oil pollution in the River Dearne at Cundy Cross following a number of reports by members of the public over the weekend.

“An officer was on site on the day we were made aware of the issue and the following investigation reported that the oil had not affected the fish in the river, or any other wildlife in the area.

“There is an ongoing issue of oil pollution in this stretch of the river which the Environment Agency is continuing to investigate to identify the source, including taking water samples to determine the specific type of oil that is present.

“We are grateful to members of the public who report incidents of pollution, all of which are taken seriously and investigated.

“Anyone who witnesses pollution can report it to our incidents hotline 0800 087060, available 24 hours.”