New island for wildlife at South Hill ParkBy Hugh Fort
July 24, 2012
A new island has been added to a lake which was contaminated by a diesel spill last month to create a new home for birds and other wildlife.
But, the bad news for bird lovers is that two of the three coots rescued after the spill into North Lake at South Hill Park in Ringmead, Birch Hill, have since died.
The birds were being cared for at the Raven Haven sanctuary in Crowthorne. Owner Steve Burns said it was likely they had been poisoned by the diesel which leaked into the lake on Friday, June 8.
The remaining bird is in “better shape” and it is still being looked after at the rescue centre.
Following the spill, two swans were taken away and cared for by volunteers at Swan Lifeline charity in Eton.
It was feared they too would die as they ingested huge amounts of the toxic fuel, but both the male and female swans made a full recovery and have returned to the lake.
The island, which is based on a cage design, has been put in to replace another island at the lake which was badly contaminated by the diesel spill.
Lake, river and wetland specialists Aquascience provided the island and it is hoped plants will grow around the cage to provide a natural home for the birds.
Pat Kennewell, of Birch Hill and Hanworth Liaison Group, said: “The new island is great – I love it.
“It already looks like some of the smaller birds have moved in there and we expect some of the bigger ones to move in shortly.
“It will be a great acquisition for the lake.”
After the diesel spill had been cleared up, bird lovers were shocked to find that a female Egyptian goose living at the lake had been shot with an air gun.
The bird had been in its nest in a tree near the lake when it was shot.
It fell out of the tree and broke its wing so badly it will not be able to fly again.
The pellet was millimetres from killing it, but because of the extent of its injuries it will need to remain at Raven Haven.