A FATHER was left shocked when he found nine dead fish floating in a pond in Sanders Park.

Martin Keight, 41, made the grim discovery on Thursday afternoon while walking past the main pond near the Sanders Park entrance.

Mr Keight, a father of three children who use the park regularly, said: "It is pretty shocking to see.

"Everybody can see it. They are all just floating on the top. The kids go through there and they can see it too.

"All of the fish in there are dead. They are about 30cm in length so quite big ones. There must have been about eight or nine just floating there.

"I do not know if contamination has gone into the pond or what.

"The pond needs dreading as it is full of leaves and branches.

"It has been disregarded over the last few months while work is going on at the brook.

"We are meant to be protecting the wildlife not destroying it."

The council have been investigating the incident alongside the Environment Agency, who advised that the fish were not natural pond fish, meaning they were put there by someone.

It is not clear, however, whether they were dead or alive at the time they were put in.

Ed Noyes from the Environment Agency said: “The fish found here were Chub which are river fish.

"There is no way they could have found their way to this pond naturally.

"Ponds and rivers have delicate ecosystems and dumping fish or plants into a different environment can seriously damage and in some cases destroy the native species living in that environment.”

The fish have now been removed.

Ray Cooke, parks and green spaces manager at the council, added: “We were obviously concerned when the fish were discovered and reported it immediately to the Environment Agency, who attended the same day.

"We would ask members of the public to understand the Environment Agency’s advice on the problems this can cause and not dump fish.”