Oakley Green, Fifield and District Community Association Ltd
Diesel in Gays Lane ditch
Environment Group - 25.02.2009
 show MAP    - Location and spread

During the night of Wednesday February 18 there was a break in at a barn at the junction of Green Lane and Gays Lane. The thieves were after fuel from a tank containing agricultural red diesel.

They cut through a pipe and presumably filled some containers but left several others scattered at the site. Unfortunately they also left the severed pipe continuing to spill the remaining contents of the tank.

The site of the tank is properly bunded against the possibility of leakage but these friendly characters left the pipe flowing out on the wrong side of the bund. One cannot help but wonder if there is some malice in this as the identical situation has happened in the past.

The owners of the site became aware of the situation on Thursday morning and took measures to prevent further contamination and cleaned up what they could find. Unknown to them the spillage had made its way into the ditch on the east side of Gays Lane flowing north.

By the weekend this had reached almost to the Oak Tree Barns about half way along Gays Lane and was beginning to pool in a long dense reddish-black concentration. The first to suffer from this on Sunday 22nd was an unfortunate walker whose dog is particularly keen on water and emerged from the ditch thoroughly contaminated. She took her animal to the vet who could only advise repeated washing.

Understandably upset this lady contacted both the Environment Agency and a local Parish Councillor. As word spread the local farmers were notified and by Wednesday 25th work to clean up was nearing completion. The two ditches involved had been dammed to prevent further spread and a large tanker was deployed to pump out the ditch mainly affected.

The environment contractor said "We've now pumped out nearly eight thousand gallons - not all red diesel of course. A lot of it was partially contaminated water which has had to be removed." He went on to say that the culprits didn't seem to realise just how much damage they caused ... or perhaps they just don't care.