THOUSANDS of fish have been re-homed in a Bracknell river after illegally dumped oil killed several hundred over the past year.

In 2017 13 pollution incidents at Jocks Lane on the River Cut were reported to the environment agency.

It is believed hundreds of chub, roach and bream were killed as a result of the contaminations, several of which followed the disposal of oil.

Working with Thames Water the Agency has visited nearby industrial units to advise businesses on oil and chemical storage and disposal, and in a bid to find the source of the pollution.

Rachel Brown, an Environment Agency team leader in east Berkshire, said: “The Environment Agency has responded to a number of incidents on the River Cut throughout 2017, reported to us through our incident hotline.

"We have been working with Thames Water to find why the river was polluted, whilst also reducing the impact to the environment."

In a bid to counteract the deaths, 1,700 chub, 1,000 dace, 1,000 roach and 300 trench were let loose from Jocks Lane Recreation Ground last week.

Stuart Keable, a fisheries officer for the Environment Agency, said: “We carry out a number of fish stockings every year. Sometimes, it is to help fish populations recover when they’ve suffered from a pollution incident, or through flooding, which can push large numbers of fish downstream, and many never return.

“The River Cut has undergone some fantastic enhancements recently. We’ve done a lot of that ourselves, but we increasingly work with local angling clubs, Bracknell Town Council, community groups and volunteers to get bigger and better results.

"The council has already installed 10 fishing platforms on the upstream section of the river at Jocks Lane, which will eventually see a wheelchair ramp installed for disabled access to this area."

Christmas is a good time to introduce the fish into rivers, as it enables them to acclimatise to their new surroundings, ahead of their spawning season in the spring.