Urgent removal of fish from Southborough Pond in Tunbridge Wells due to ‘abuse’

Southborough City Council has removed fish from a well-known pond due to growing problems described as ‘fish abuse’. The council said the fish had been removed from Holden Pond in Southborough for their own ‘health and safety’.

He said the drastic action to protect them was due to them suffering “increasing distress” at the pond, which sits in the center of a residential area. In a notice informing the public of the stock’s removal on Friday, June 10, the council explained the issue.

The pond had become “increasingly a hotbed of anti-social behavior and animal cruelty”, the council said. The situation had become “critical” in recent weeks as reports of abuse mounted.

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He said: “The fish have been removed from Holden Pond by order of the council for their own health and safety, as they have been in increasing distress following escalating anti-social behaviour, illegal fishing and the abuse of fish.They have been removed in accordance with Environment Agency regulations by an experienced contractor and are safe in a calm pond while they are health checked before being rehoused .”

This is not the first time fish have been threatened by members of the public. Several years ago they were stolen and ducks and ducklings were also killed around the pond by drivers traveling too fast and mowing them down.

Councilors voted to ban fishing at Holden Pond last year, following the growing number of complaints the council was receiving about illegal fishing and the misuse of fish. The council said: “As a small council we do not have the resources to monitor the pond, which has increasingly become a focal point for anti-social behavior and cruelty to animals.

“This situation has become critical over the past few weeks as we entered the warmer months and reports of illegal fishing and fish abuse increased. Additionally, the pond began to stagnate when the sprinkler system broke down, leaving fish in distress.

The council intends to improve the pond during the cooler months and is collecting quotes for the work. It read: ‘Council members want to encourage richer biodiversity for pond wildlife and the return of ducks, so we hope you will support us in this endeavour.’

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