Think about fish when using drain

Out of water: These yellow fish want to prevent pollutants being put down the drain

Yellow fish have been spotted out of the water in Witney.

But there’s no need to fear for their safety as these fish are actually helping save their real-life water dwelling friends from being poisoned by the unsuspecting public.

The eye catching cartoon fish, pictured, are part of a sticker campaign urging residents to be careful when putting things down the drain.

Oxfordshire County Council’s Lower Windrush Valley Project and the Environment Agency launched the campaign to emphasise the harm caused to fish when pollutants enter rivers and streams.

A chemical leak killed around 1,700 fish in a stretch of Colwell Brook and Queen Emma’s Dyke, near Witney Lake, in October 2016.

County councillor Yvonne Constance, cabinet member for the environment, said: “People very rarely make the connection between what they put down the drain and what happens to it once it’s out of their hands.

“Wildlife, particularly that which lives in rivers, streams and lakes is taken for granted, but the slightest change in the water – for instance if something nasty gets put down the drain – can have terrible consequences.

“The stickers are eye catching and unusual enough to make anyone who sees them take a closer look.”

The Windrush team will spend time in the Station Lane area, attaching stickers and speaking with businesses and residents to raise awareness about water pollution.

Ian Busby, from manufacturers GSM Automotive, based on the nearby industrial estate, said: “We place great importance on our environmental responsibility, so participating in the yellow fish project is very useful in helping communicate the importance of maintaining surface water integrity to our team members.”

The Environment Agency’s Stuart Malaure said he had high hopes for the success of the project.

He said: “The yellow fish scheme is a brilliant way to show residents and local businesses how to reduce pollution from our towns to our rivers.

“We’re raising awareness of our message ‘only rain down the drain’ and the project in Witney will hopefully reduce pollution to the River Windrush.”

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