Fears for wildlife on polluted West Yorkshire canal

Trevor Wyatt and Andy Smith, left, have major concerns about diesel pollution on stretch of Calder and Hebble Canal at Wakefield.  PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
Trevor Wyatt and Andy Smith, left, have major concerns about diesel pollution on stretch of Calder and Hebble Canal at Wakefield. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
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SWANS and ducks are suffering due to “horrendous” diesel pollution in a West Yorkshire canal, it has been claimed.

The Broadcut Canal at Calder and Hebble Navigation is polluted with diesel between Horbury Bridge and Calder Grove at Wakefield, says canal boater Trevor Wyatt.

Trevor Wyatt and Andy Smith have major concerns about diesel pollution on stretch of Calder and Hebble Canal at Wakefield. Pictured swans swimming in the polution.
8th December 2016.
Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe

Trevor Wyatt and Andy Smith have major concerns about diesel pollution on stretch of Calder and Hebble Canal at Wakefield. Pictured swans swimming in the polution. 8th December 2016. Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe

Mr Wyaytt, 60, who has a narrowboat moored at Calder Grove, said: “You can smell diesel all the time. It makes you feel sick.”

The retired supervisor at Allied Glass, Hunslet, Leeds, said: “It looks like it’s floating diesel. For the past two or three weeks it has been horrendous.

“The swans and ducks are covered in it. When the swans get out of the water they are virtually black.”

Mr Wyatt said the pollution is most severe at Horbury Bridge, adding: “When you sail up there it’s like parking on a rainbow.”

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: “The Environment Agency are aware of issues relating to pollutants being found in the Broadcut Canal over a number of years, and our officers have made frequent visits to the canal, and to commercial business premises in the vicinity to investigate.

“We have also worked alongside Yorkshire Water to identify any possible sources of contamination but our investigations have not established any direct link between the pollution and any bad practices locally. We continue to look towards finding a solution and would ask anyone seeing pollution within this to report the matter on 0800 80 70 60.”

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