A determined battle to clean up a polluted and rubbish-strewn brook in Leighton Buzzard has at last yielded results.
Naomi Janes was horrified at the state of the brook close to Meadow Way while out walking her dogs.
She said: “In the Meadow Way part of the brook, nothing can live or survive – only rats and stinging nettles, where they’ve left it overgrown!
“The smell which comes off is unbelievable, and makes you feel physically sick.”
After checking the land registry, Ms Janes found the land was owned by Central Bedfordshire Council and began what she described as a “David and Goliath battle” to get them to take action.
She said: “We have been passed backwards and forwards to different organisations given by CBC, because nobody will take responsibility for it.”
Ms Janes said she was even forced to take a copy of the land registry into council offices. She also contacted the Environment Agency (EA) - concerned about the smell at the brook.
After an investigation, the EA found a source for the pollution and an investigation is currently ongoing.
An EA spokesperson said: “On June 20, we received a report from a member of public regarding potential pollution to a watercourse in Leighton Buzzard.
“In response to this report, an environment officer attended and confirmed a localised pollution to the watercourse. We have substantiated the source of pollution and it has now stopped.”
Central Beds Councilil has also recognised the need to tackle rubbish left at the brook. A CBC spokesman said: “We have had a complaint recently from a local resident in relation to the condition of the brook area.
“We have historically had a continuing issue with fly tipping in the brook, which we have periodically cleared.
“We have recently identified this area for improvement following an audit of our Housing Green Spaces, and are currently looking at options for a longer term solution to enhance the area of the brook, and reduce the risk of fly tipping.”
The EA’s investigation is currently ongoing. Anyone with further information or who wishes to report another case of pollution is advised to call 0800 807060.