FRIENDS of Bumble Hole and a team of community volunteers were thanked by the RSPCA for their work in helping wildlife during a diesel spillage last year.

The substance, believed to be mainly red diesel with traces of cooking oil, left a red substance lying on the surface of the water at Bumble Hole Nature reserve.

The diesel came through the surface water drainage system and a culvert into the pool on December 29, 2020.

Several small fish were found dead on the surface while wildlife were coated with a dark substance.

Around fifty to sixty people were involved in the clean-up which took four days.

Brenda Myers, conservation team volunteer said: “It was really distressing, we love wildlife and we love the reserve. To see the animals in such a state was heartbreaking, but we all pulled together to try and make a difference.”

The volunteers worked alongside the RSPCA, and other animal welfare organisations to retrieve as many animals as possible.

Councillor Karen Shakespeare, cabinet member for public realm, said: “We’ve worked with Severn Trent Water and the Environment Agency on the subsequent clean-up, which cost the taxpayer more than £25,000 to clean up.

“This recognition by the RSPCA is well deserved and again reinforces the value of our amazing friends and volunteers who all pulled together and worked so hard to save the wildlife.”

Boris Robinson from RSPCA said it was a privilege to award the Bumble Hole community a Certificate of Merit.

“As the hours passed it became increasingly heart-breaking work as contaminated birds would be found waterlogged, feathers frozen, and collapsed with hypothermia, or sadly having died from the cold,” said Boris.

“This Certificate of Merit is awarded to All of you, from all of us at the RSPCA, in recognition of your love and dedication for your local wildlife.”