Access to Horsham Park’s pond has been closed for ‘health and safety’ reasons following pollution of the water after a diesel spill.
A clear-up and wildlife rescue operation is currently underway following the spillage from nearby Horsham Hospital on Wednesday.
In a statement today, Horsham District Council cabinet member for culture and leisure Jonathan Chowen said: “Regrettably the council has closed off access to the pond in Horsham Park for operational health and safety reasons. I must stress that there is no health risk to members of the public.
“NHS Property Services have employed an experienced and specialist cleansing company who will be on site for approximately two weeks to carry out cleansing to the pond as a priority.
“When this operation is complete the pond will re-open to the public.
“Both swans at the pond have now been rescued and are at a swan sanctuary in Shepperton where they have been cleansed.
“An environmental consultancy appointed by NHS Property Services have deployed ecologist teams to rescue any further wildlife that are affected by the spillage. They will also test the oxygen levels of the pond water to ensure it is safe for the fish in the pond.
“At this time we would like to thank NHS Property Services for their prompt, responsive actions concerning this situation.
“The council, together with Southern Water, the Environment Agency and NHS Property Services, is continuing to monitor the situation closely.
“My thanks also go out to our parks and countryside and environmental health teams for their efficiency and prompt actions on this sensitive issue.”