Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre

Nuneaton Oil Spill - full impact unknown

The impact of an oil spill at Bermuda Lake, Nuneaton, is largely unknown.  To date eight seven Canada Geese, three adults and five goslings and a baby moorhen have been rescued. 

Many other geese, ducks and smaller waterfowl have been affected but our boat team has yet to rescue any more, many are still mobile and have flown off.

RSPCA inspector Nicola Johnson, who was one of the first Officers on the scene said: “This is an awful incident. Oil spills can be lethal so we are very concerned for the wildlife in and around this lake.

“We were able to rescue three goslings from the lake on Wednesday night, and yesterday we rescued more goslings, a very young coot and an adult goose.  They have all been taken to our Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre in Nantwich, Cheshire.

“We are continuing the rescue operation using two RSPCA boats  and we are working closely with other organisations including the local council and Severn Trent Water.

“We would also like to remind people that while the lake is still contaminated so badly, dogs should be kept away from the water.”  

Lee Stewart, Manager of RSPCA Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre, added: “We’ve been thoroughly washing the oil off these first three little goslings and we’re happy to report that they are all now cleaned up and doing well.

Two further rescued oiled goslings, a day-old coot and three adult geese were also picked up.  So it’s been a busy few days.

“If oil is not removed from waterbirds it reduces the natural waterproofing in their plumage, leaving them at risk of dying from hypothermia - so it is vital that they are treated as soon as possible.

“Because the five goslings have lost their parents, they will stay in our care until they are ready to fend for themselves, at which point we will return them to the wild. 

Stapeley Grange has a Natural England licence that allows the team to release Canada Geese back to the wild.  It is illegal to release them otherwise.

For more information on what to do if you find a wild animal in need of help, visit the RSPCA website at: 

The RSPCA urges anyone who has any information about this incident, or sees pollution on water or land to call the Environment Agency 24-hour incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60. Concerns for a wild animal that has come into contact with oil or other contaminants should be reported to the RSPCA’s emergency line on 0300 1234 999.