Residents find more than 50 dead fish in 'absolutely appalling' Gosport fort moat

A GOSPORT fort preserved by English Heritage has become ‘absolutely appalling’ after scores of fish have died in the fort’s moat.

Wednesday, 19th August 2020, 4:50 pm
Updated Thursday, 20th August 2020, 10:10 am

Declining water and oxygen levels in the moat surrounding Fort Brockhurst, in Gunners Way, have resulted in a mass die-off of wildlife, with one resident finding more than 50 dead fish over the space of three days.

It comes after residents staged an impromptu rescue operation in Alver Creek as the hot weather killed hundreds of fish in the waterway on Saturday.

Rowner resident Ashley Parkes attended the creek at the weekend – and was shocked to discover a similar situation at the fort.

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An aerial view of Fort Brockhurst in Gosport. Picture: Gosport Heritage Open Days Team

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The full-time dad-of-three said: ‘Usually it’s absolutely beautiful down there. Now I don’t like walking down there because of the smell.

‘It’s absolutely appalling – it’s not a pretty sight.’

Five members of the Portsmouth and District Angling Society – which holds the rights to fish the waterway but has no responsibility for it – took oxygenating equipment to the moat yesterday morning.

Scores of fish have been found dead in Fort Brockhurst's moat after the recent hot weather. Picture: Ashley Parkes

A spokesman for the society: ‘We did experience some fish stock loss – it’s not the first time it’s happened and it’s not the first area it’s happened in.

‘The real issue is the site itself not being properly maintained.

‘Our members have pulled out trolleys and all sorts.’

Members of the Portsmouth and District Angling Society have attended the scene with oxygenating equipment. Picture: Ashley Parkes

Dumped waste ranging from bags of rubbish to tires has been an ongoing issue along the moat, according to the society’s spokesman.

Last month, one resident fished more than 20 tyres out of Fort Brockhurst’s moat after they were dumped there by fly-tippers.

English Heritage had invested ‘a substantial amount of charity money’ to remove rubbish from the moat, according to spokesman from the organisation.

He said: ‘As a conservation charity we feel it is our duty to provide the utmost care to the wildlife residing at our historic places and we would also like to implore local residents to do the same, by reporting any littering or fly-tipping in the moat.

‘The recent heat wave has resulted in a drop in the water level and reduced water movement which has sadly resulted in the fatalities of some of the fish which have taken up residence in the moat.’

‘We are currently working with the council to monitor the situation and have enlisted the support of a local angling group who are aerating the water to help improve the moat’s oxygen levels.’

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