Published: February 21, 2008
In photos: Oil spill sparks wildlife rescue operation near Burnham

Wildlife rescuers from the Burnham-On-Sea area were called into action on Thursday (February 21st) after an oil spill polluted a mile-long stretch of a stream running through Mark village.

Five oil-coated birds were rescued by volunteers from Secret World, helped by a rescue boat crew from Burnham-based BARB.

A team of more than 20 volunteers were involved after the oil spill was found mid-morning near the White Horse pub in Mark.

The Environment Agency was also at the scene throughout the day, trying to contain the spill.

Enviroment Agency spokesman Mike Dunning told "We're investigating a leak along the watercourse known as the Mark Yeo which links the Axe and the Brue rivers."

"We're trying to trace the source of the oil, which is thick and black, and along a one mile stretch of water." He added: "A boom is being set up at Yarrow Farm to restrict movement of the oil downstream."

Simon Kidner, from Secret World, told "We dealt with the rescue of several swans which had oil on them. As yet we do not know the source of the oil."

BARB also used a canoe to reach one of the birds

Nets were used to try and capture the oil-coated swans

Wildlife rescuers from Secret World kept a close eye on the oil-covered swans from the riverbank

Rescuers took up vantage points along the stream to try and capture the swans

Simon Kidner from Secret World chases after one of the swans as it tries to flee

In safe hands: one of the oil-coated swans is helped by the team from Secret World and BARB

This boom has been put into place besides Yarrow Road to prevent the oil spill moving further downstream


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