THOUSANDS of fish have been killed after the River Leadon became polluted.

The incident was discovered and reported to the Environment Agency by Dick Mason, of Dymock, because the river runs through his property.

He told the Ledbury Reporter that the river had seemed murky on Saturday, August 6.

"The next day, at lunchtime, there were dead fish at the bottom of the river. I called the Environment Agency and started going up the river, seeing how far it was polluted. I got as far as the Little Marcle Road and it was clear above that.

"It's had a devastating effect on the river. I followed it downstream to Redmarley and there are no fish left alive. There used to be trout, eels and minnows. There will be a knock-on effect as well, because the otters, kingfishers and herons which feed on the fish will either move on or die.”

Mr Mason said he visited the Severn Trent sewage plant in Ledbury, where he was told there had been a release of raw sewage.

Sonia Southern at Severn Trent confirmed an incident had taken place and was under investigation, but declined to say what had happened.

Jessica Campbell at the Environment Agency said: "The number of fish we found dead in the river was in the thousands, along about 12 kilometres. The incident is still under investigation, so we can't really say any more at this stage."