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Sutton prepares for drought 03.04.12

As the south east prepares for drought, Sutton Council has stepped in to save fish from floundering in drying ponds.

Dozens of fish in the Stock Pond in Beddington Park are particularly vulnerable, as the pond can dry out in a very short amount of time. To make sure that the fish survive, the council plans to move them to a fishery outside London where they can survive the dry summer happily.

Fish from Lakeside Pond have already been moved to the nearby Grange Lake to make sure that they don't get trapped as water levels drop further. To ensure the future of the pond, which also supports amphibians, insects and birds, parks officers are planning to pump water from nearby ponds to make sure that the clay base does not crack, which would mean that the pond would not be able to bounce back from the drought.

Sutton and East Surrey Water, which supplies the borough, is one of seven water companies in the south east to impose a hosepipe ban. At this stage the ban, which comes into effect on 5 April, does not cover businesses or local councils, so Sutton Council is free to continue using hosepipes in public parks and gardens. However, parks bosses have decided that it would be unfair to keep using water at the same rate when residents face restrictions, so will restrict watering to the minimum needed to keep plants alive and make sure that they will not be faced with huge bills to replant parks once the drought is over.

Cllr Colin Hall, Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change on Sutton Council, said: "We were warned that this hosepipe ban was coming, so the council has been working with the Environment Agency and Sutton and East Surrey Water to make sure that we're doing everything we can to help wildlife survive the drought.

"I urge all residents to think carefully about the water that they use. There are lots of changes you can make which, when added together, will have a real impact. We all think about water as an unlimited resource but, as the climate continues to change, water will become more precious, and we will need to make sure that we cut out unnecessary use."

For information about the drought, how it will affect you and what you can do to save water, visit www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/drought

Last updated: Monday, 28 May 2012

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