RESIDENTS in Studley were left choking after diesel was spilled into the River Arrow from somewhere in Redditch.
Householders in Wickham Road, which runs parallel to the river, said the stench of fumes was overpowering, forcing them out of their gardens on Bank Holiday Monday.
Local farmer and Parish Councillor Brian Dixon, whose holding borders the Arrow, said he feared for the wildlife caught up in the slick.
“I went down to the river at 7.30am on Monday morning; there was a very strong smell of diesel and a film of it right across the Arrow. It was running blue from bank to bank,” he said.
“It was still the same on Tuesday morning.”
“There was a mallard which had 11 ducklings but five were missing yesterday.
“You see they get a film if this stuff on their feathers and they can’t get it off, it poisons them.”
Coun Adrian Smith, who lives in Wickham Road, said the diesel discharge had been going on for 48 hours.
“It’s not very good at all – someone, somewhere has been discharging diesel and dumping it in the river.”
Another Wickham Road resident, Gordon Marshall added: “The fumes from the diesel would knock you out. You couldn’t work or relax in the garden it was so bad.”
A check upstream showed the river running clear, pinpointing the spillage to somewhere in Redditch.
A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: “At present we have not seen any damage to wildlife. We will be investigating the extent of the pollution and continue to monitoring the situation to try and minimise impacts to the River Arrow and would advise as a precautionary measure that all animals are kept away from the water.”
The Arrow is a popular river for anglers and flows from Studley, past the National Trust property of Coughton Court and through Alcester before joining the Avon.