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Fish removed from public pond in Southborough 'for their own safety'

A town council has taken the unusual step of removing the fish from a pond "for their own safety."

Southborough Town Council took the emergency decision after increasing reports of what it called "illegal fishing and fish abuse" at Holden Pond on the edge of Southborough Common.

Holden Pond at Southborough. Pic Google
Holden Pond at Southborough. Pic Google

It said: "Around 85 fish were removed in accordance with Environment Agency regulations by an experienced expert in fish health and pond management.

"They have been placed in a safe, quiet, pond, where they will be health-checked before being re-homed."

The council said: "They were in distress and this situation needed to be addressed immediately."

The council had voted to ban fishing at Holden Pond last year, but despite erecting No Fishing signs, it found the fishing continued.

In a statement, the council said: "As a small town council, we do not have the resources to police the pond, which had increasingly become a focal point for anti-social behaviour and animal cruelty. "The situation became critical in the last few weeks as we entered the warmer months and reports of illegal fishing and fish abuse escalated."

The council wants to encourage more ducks to the pond
The council wants to encourage more ducks to the pond

It said there had also been reports of fish being smacked on the ground and stamped upon.

It said: "Moreover, the pond began to stagnate when the sprinkler system failed, leaving the fish in distress.

"Our pond expert also advised us that the fish have also contributed to the destruction of the previous pond planting, so all things considered, council members have tried to make the best decision for the fish, whose welfare is paramount, as well as for residents of Holden Corner, who have had to endure the anti-social behaviour.

"We were always looking at removing the fish, but were hoping to do this at the same time as planned improvement works, which we hope to carry out in the cooler months, as per the advice we have been given."

"We are gathering quotes for works and this will go before councillors in due course, as they will make the final decision."

The town council said that because of all the rubbish thrown in the pond - including shopping trolleys - its contractor had been unable to complete the removal of all the fish in one session, and would therefore be coming back on Thursday, June 16, to complete the job.

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