THE trust which manages the canals in Worcester is calling on residents to help them identify the source of mysterious pollution clogging up the waterways.

The Canal and River Trust has been investigating a mysterious build-up of pollution between Sidbury Lock 3 and Blockhouse Lock 4 in the centre of the city.

The pollution, which is characterised as a rainbow sheen on the water accompanied by the smell of fuel, is proving difficult to trace, with investigations so far drawing a blank..

Environmental experts from the Trust are regularly monitoring this stretch of canal to ensure the pollution is having minimal impact on the local wildlife.

The team is also using absorbent mats to soak up and remove as much of the oil as possible from the water.

Alex May, environmental scientist at the Trust, said: “This pollution really has got us scratching our heads.

"Normally it’s fairly straightforward to trace where pollution has come from as you would find evidence of a spill from a local drain as it discharges into the canal.

"These drains are supposed to be for clean rainwater, but sometimes wrongly connected drains can lead to pollution problems.

"Everything we’ve investigated so far hasn’t pointed to the source so we’re asking for local people to tell us if they know anything or has seen anyone dump something into the canal.

“Unfortunately, we have found a small number of dead fish along this stretch of canal so we’re really keen to get to the bottom of this and find the source to ensure no more wildlife is harmed.

“Research shows that spending time next to water makes us all happier and heathier so its important we look after for our canals, and the wildlife that lives along it, to ensure they are great places for local people to visit and enjoy.”

If you would like to share any information on this, please call 03030 404040 or email

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The Canal & River Trust cares for and brings to life 2,000 miles of canals and rivers across England abd Wales.

It brings communities together to make a difference to their local waterway, creating places and spaces that can be used and enjoyed by everyone, every day.