UPDATE: Firm vows to help after oil found dumped in River Welland and swans reported to be covered in the liquid
A huge clean-up operation is under way at Deeping and Crowland after oil drums were found dumped in the River Welland.
A volunteer warden for the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust was alerted by a dog walker to the discovery of the oil at Deeping Lakes nature reserve on Tuesday (April 30).
The Environment Agency and RSPCA have been working to clean-up the oil and help the swans, using boats to remove oil, and oiled birds. Around 25 swans have been affected.
Three swans so far have been caught, with the situation continuing to be monitored over the next few days. A boom has been installed at Crowland to collect the oil.
A spokesperson for Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust said that one of the photos posted on social media identified Morris Lubricants as the supplier of some of the drums.
But she added: "The waste oil contained in the drums had nothing to do with them, but by the wonders of social media they found/read the post. They have been very sympathetic, and have offered to help with the clean-up, and in tracking down where the drums were sold to."
A spokesperson for Morris Lubricants said today (Thursday): "We were deeply saddened to see the incident at Deeping Lakes on social media and have discussed the matter with the Environment Agency and the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust.
"Morris Lubricants promotes and encourages customers to use the correct disposal of all oil containers on all of its packaging. Any information that can assist in the matter will be handed over to the proper authorities."
A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: "Our teams have used booms and boats in the clean-up and are assisting the RSPCA in rescuing and caring for a number of swans and other birds which have been affected.
"No one wants to see wildlife and their habitats suffer as a result of pollution, which is why we work so hard to prevent it, and hold to account those who cause it.
"If you have any information about his incident, please call us on our incident hotline 0800 80 70 60 or Crimestoppers UK 0800-555111."
A spokesperson for the RSPCA added: “Around 25 swans have been affected. Three swans have been caught so far today and are being transferred to RSPCA East WinchWildlife Centre (in Norfolk) for treatment.
“Many of the birds are still able to fly but we will continue to rescue as many of those contaminated over the coming days as possible.
“If you see a bird who you think needs our help please call the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.”
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More by this authorZoe Myall