‘The whole town is behind us’: Kenilworth community comes together, working day and night, to save the fish in Abbey Fields lake

The community in Kenilworth has rallied together to step in and help save the fish in the Abbey Fields lake.

The community in Kenilworth has rallied together to step in and help save the fish in the Abbey Fields lake. Photos by Darren Rees
The community in Kenilworth has rallied together to step in and help save the fish in the Abbey Fields lake. Photos by Darren Rees

Last week, many fish died in the lake with many more struggling due to the problems caused by the hot temperatures, which resulted in decreasing water levels.

Warwick District Council initially stepped in to help with the intention of adding water from the mains but were told by Severn Trent to stop because of ‘the impact on the regional network’.

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After the news that the council couldn’t do anything broke, residents came together to help – including many businesses such as Hirebase Kenilworth and CJT Fencing and Landscaping Ltd.

Darren Rees, who has mostly been on the site since Saturday morning, said: “We could see hundreds of fish in there – there was no need for them to die – so we stepped in to save them. Essentially to do what the council weren’t prepared to do.

"So since then we have been doing day and night shifts – we keep the pumps going 24 hours and we’re aerating the water to keep them alive and trying to prevent the water from dropping anymore.

"Amazingly, we’ve gone from when the council left them and them all being up one end of the pool looking limp and ready to die, to them swimming around now.

"The casualties are far less. We’ve gone from 300 dead fish over the last few days to only 10 dead fish coming out today (Monday August 15). So the proof is in the pudding that it has worked.”

Darren said the whole town has been involved.

"The whole town is behind us.

"Yesterday (Sunday), we decided the best option was to get a tank of water into the pond and we decided this at about 8am. By 9am, one of the residents, the owner of the Kenilworth Pet Shop, stepped forward and fronted us the £1,800 to get this tank.

“We set up a donation site for her to get her money back and within a few hours that £1,800 was back in her pocket and we were halfway towards another tank.

"That’s how fast Kenilworth has responded and the fundraising and donations are still going from Kenilworth Pet Shop.

As well as money, the team at the lake have also had donations of food, drink and petrol to help keep the generators going.

Darren added: “The response from Kenilworth has been unbelievable.

"Cllr Richard Hales, also turned up in wellies and with tools to help.

"It’s something I think everyone who lives in Kenilworth should be really proud of.

"We’ve also got lads down here who’ve got into bits of trouble in the past but they are here getting in the lake, pulling out dead fish and doing everything they can to help. They should get some good light on them as well.

Darren added: "We’re not necessarily against the council, we don’t like what they’ve done and how they left it and believe if we’d done that to our fish in our back gardens, we’d be prosecuted.

"But what we need more than anything is for them to step in – the council, the Environmental Agency and the water board – instead of ignoring it and letting them die.”

Warwick District Council have been contacted.