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Experts brought in to investigate deaths of fish in Norwich park

PUBLISHED: 09:47 07 May 2014

The lily pond at Eaton Park, which has been fenced off following the death of fish. Photo: Submitted.

The lily pond at Eaton Park, which has been fenced off following the death of fish. Photo: Submitted.

Submitted

Experts have been brought in to carry out further tests on a pond in a popular Norwich park – to solve the mystery of a spate of fish deaths.

The lily pond at Eaton Park has been fenced off for almost a month, after members of the public reported that dead fish were floating in the water.

In the middle of April, Norwich City Council put up a blue sign on the wire fencing, which stated: “The lily pond has been fenced as a precaution while the health of the fish is investigated. No fish are to be moved into or out of the pond unless authorised. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

City Hall officers have now confirmed that some fish had died and revealed a string of tests have been carried out to establish what was causing them to perish.

An Environment Agency technical officer tested the water’s oxygen levels, which proved to be normal.

A spokesman for Norwich City Council confirmed tests of water samples for heavy metal contaminants also came back clear.

But, with the riddle remaining, the council has asked other experts to carry out further tests.

The spokesman said: “Following the tests we carried out for the presence of heavy metals, we asked Cefas (the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science) to carry out more tests for us.

“These have so far proved inconclusive, although we’re still awaiting further test results to try and establish the cause of the problem.”

The 1920s concrete lily pond, along with a number of structures at Eaton Park, has a grade II* status on English Heritage’s Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England.

The park was opened in 1928 and, like Waterloo Park which opened in 1933, it was designed by Captain Sandys-Winsch, a protégé of the celebrated Edwardian landscape architect Thomas Mawson.

In March, Norfolk police dismissed rumours that there had been incidents of dog poisoning in Eaton Park, which is off South Park Avenue.

People had claimed that dogs had been poisoned by pellets left in the Norwich park and that razor blades had also been found.

But police said, while various stories had circulated on social media, no incidents had been reported to them.

Do you have a theory about the fish deaths? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

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