An update has been issued on the progress of an investigation that saw dozens of fish killed in a suspected pollution incident last year. 

In April 2023, Scores of fish were found dead in the Richmondshire area, with Holme Beck, Gilling Beck and Skeeby Beck all affected - amid issues over pollution linked to the River Swale. 

At the time of the incident, the leak of farm slurry came from the AWSM Farming site at Hutton Magna - but, so far, a report and conclusion of the incident haven't been determined. 

The issue of pollution comes as the Save Our Swale group have made numerous calls to clean up the river, with the campaign group highlighting the 'worrying' data from water samples during its meeting in Richmond on Saturday (June 8).

Dozens of dead fishDozens of dead fish (Image: STUART BOULTON)

During the meeting, data was presented showing water samples at Brompton contained an average of 101,000 coliform bacteria per 100ml of water - 100 times higher than the 500-1000 coliform bacteria threshold the Environment Agency requires for water to be considered safe to bathe in.

In comparison, other parts of the River Swale, including Richmond Falls (2400) and Culloden, showed 2400 and 3000 average coliform bacteria respectively; emphasising the "worrying trend" seen at Brompton. 

The issue at Skeeby Beck was also raised during the meeting, with the chair of Richmond and District Angling Society, Ron Wood, saying that he had helped the Environment Agency with its investigation into the incident. 

One of the dead fish at Skeeby BeckOne of the dead fish at Skeeby Beck (Image: STUART BOULTON)

"In Skeeby Beck in April last year, it was a category one incident, which meant that the Environment Agency had to respond as soon as possible and that it was the highest level of pollution seen.

"I met with the Environment Agency and they said the investigation was progressing rapidly - and they were hoping to conclude soon. 

"We await this conclusion, and look forward to looking at their findings."

On Thursday (June 13), the Environment Agency was contacted about the progress of its investigation - with the group highlighting that, due to the complex nature of the investigation, it will take time.

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A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: "The Environment Agency investigation is progressing; however, we are still gathering evidence, including witness statements.

"We are continuing to compile and assess evidence to build a clear picture of the case. This is a complex and can take time.

"We will take any relevant enforcement action, as required.

"We will share further information as soon as we are able."