Environment Agency investigation after 'hundreds' of dead fish found in River Tyne tributary

An investigation is underway after "hundreds" of fish died in a tributary of the River Tyne in Northumberland. Credit: LDRS/NCJ MEDIA

An investigation is underway to try and find out why "hundreds" of fish died in a tributary of the River Tyne in Northumberland.

Staff from the Environment Agency have been testing the water in Park Burn, at Prudhoe riverside after walkers spotted the dead fish and reported the issue.

Northumbrian Water has also tested the water in the burn and said the pollution did not come from any of its sites.

Technical advisers for the company did attend on Wednesday and noticed “discolouration” of river water from a “culverted water source” not belonging to the water board.

  • Graeme Peacock spotted the dead fish while out walking

This has been reported to the Environment Agency for “further investigation”.

Park Burn flows into the Tyne after passing the chalk heaps known as the Spetchells, via the Low Prudhoe Industrial Estate.

In a statement, the Environment Agency said: “Our teams are on site to investigate a pollution to Park Burn in Prudhoe. We would like to thank the members of the public that have reported this incident to us.

“Members of the public can report environmental incidents 24/7 365 days of the year to our incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60. It is crucial that we receive timely reports with as much information as possible to help us undertake investigations.”

There was no further comment so as to not prejudice the ongoing investigation.

Northumbrian Water said it had checked its wastewater network in the area and were “confident” the issue was not related to any of its operations.

The company is assisting the Environment Agency in the investigation and sent water samples for analysis.

Councillor Gordon Stewart, who represents the Prudhoe South ward, said: “I’m very much aware of the issues at the riverside which is distressing to hear about. I’m awaiting the outcome of the Environment Agency’s investigation.”

Have you heard our new podcast Talking Politics? Every week Tom, Robert and Anushka dig into the biggest issues dominating the political agenda…