A WATER company has said they are ‘looking at other changes’ they can make to protect wildlife after locals demanded action to stop animals falling to their death.
The site meeting at Yorkshire Water-owned Scout Dike Reservoir near Penistone was held between the three Penistone West councillors and representatives from the water company.
Penistone West Couns Hannah Kitching, David Greenhough and Mandy Lowe-Flello have met with members of the firm’s corporate affairs team and a member based at the site.
They discussed the mesh fencing put up in an attempt to help wildlife becoming trapped in the sites ‘stilling’ ponds - and what more could be done.
The new fencing was put up after locals and councillors raised concerns - with people saying the mesh is ‘not what’s needed’ to fully solve the issue.
Acting as a ‘death trap’ for ducklings and other wildlife, the sides of the ponds at the bottom of the spillway at the site are too high and vertical for wildlife to escape if they enter them.
The loss of wildlife is an issue which nearby resident Len Batty says has been happening for years - but has become more dire in recent years after fencing has meant he and others can’t access the site easily to perform rescues.
The issue with the new mesh fencing, Len said, is that it will stop some wildlife from entering by the side of the ponds but not if they enter down the spillway - he also said mesh can be dangerous for the small amphibians who have also been killed or injured at the site.
Yorkshire Water say they are now looking at potential changes.
A spokesperson for the company said: “We were happy to meet with the local councillors to talk through the improvements we’re already making and understand how we can work together to prevent this from happening in the future.
“It was a productive meeting and we’re on with looking at other changes we can make to keep the local wildlife safe.”
Coun Hannah Kitching said the meeting had been productive, and that she was ‘satisfied’ they are doing what they can now to help the wildlife.
“I’ve been down there at times when ducklings are trapped and they genuinely can’t get out,” she said.
“It’s just heartbreaking to see for people.
“I equally understand that Yorkshire Water provide water for so many people - and are tied with what they can change at the site.
“We’ve built some good relationships now with the right people, so you could say the meeting was definitely a success.”