Fire crews work to 'reoxygenate' Crammer lake in Devizes to save dying fish

  • Watch fire crews pump water from a hydrant into the Crammer - video credit: David Young

Firefighters in Devizes have been pumping fresh water into the town's pond after the hot weather started killing its fish.

Officials say oxygen levels in the Crammer have dropped during the heatwave because it is a still body of water and it cannot replenish levels naturally.

Fire crews have therefore been using a hydrant to reoxygenate the pond.

Simon Fisher from Devizes Town Council said: "Unlike rivers which are free flowing and naturally oxygenate themselves when there is a spell of very warm weather the oxygen level in still water falls to a point where some of the fish can’t survive.

"To help increase the oxygen level we have been supported by our local Devizes firefighters who have been running fresh water from the hydrant into the Crammer."

Devizes Town Council says it is are hopeful the fire service will be able to continue the process during the weekend, when very hot weather is forecast and an amber extreme heat warning has been issued for the South West.

The fish that inhabit the Crammer are believed to have been placed there by residents over the years as they would not naturally occur there.

Simon Fisher added: "We will continue to monitor the problem, but we understand the Crammer is not the only body of water where fish are dying in this way, with Wiltshire Wildlife advising that it is not uncommon with this type of pond."

It comes as Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service has issued a warning to residents to take extra care over the next few days, as the temperature continues to rise.

Group manager Graham Kewley said: “The exceptional weather that is forecast for the coming days means that we all need to take care when out and about.

"We want people to enjoy the sunshine, but we do urge everyone to think about what they’re doing and perhaps amend their plans to stay as safe as possible.”