Pollution ‘under control’ as officials lift emergency closure notices on River Great Ouse

The polution in the river in Huntingdon PICTURE: JOE SIMONS

The polution in the river in Huntingdon PICTURE: JOE SIMONS - Credit: Archant

Emergency closure notices for locks around Huntingdonshire have been lifted following an oil spill in the River Great Ouse.

Environment Agency officials announced this afternoon (Friday) that closure notices at Godmanchester, Houghton, Hemingford, and St Ives had been lifted and boaters using the river could resume their journeys.

The locks had been closed for about 24 hours following an oil spill at Riverside Park, in Huntingdon.

RSPCA officials were called to the scene after reports that swans and other wildlife had been caught up in the spill. An investigation is ongoing into the cause of the incident.

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: “Booms and spill kits, whilst not now obstructing navigation, will still be present on the river and are containing the pollution and should be avoided and not tampered with.

“The oil pollution is now largely under control but there may still be some remaining thin, rainbow-sheened, areas of pollution on the river, mainly constrained to channel margins.”

The spokesman urged people planning to take to the river in the area to be aware of the spill and re-iterated an earlier warning not to allow pets into the river.

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He said: “Teams will continue to monitor the situation over the weekend whilst further collection of pollutants is expected. Teams will mobilise again early next week to collect the booms, spill kits and waste for safe disposal, bringing an end to the incident response whilst investigations continue into the source and causes of the pollution incident.”