The oil was dumped to the north of Birmingham in an area called Witton Lakes, which is a haven for wildlife during this time of the year.

Workers from Birmingham City Council were told about the spill by a member of the public who reported several birds covered in oil.

The council called in the RSPCA and Environment Agency to help with the clean-up operation, this morning (1 February).

Council biodiversity officer, Dr Stefan Bodnar, said: “It was a serious situation but we managed to contain it and stop it from becoming really nasty.

“There are hundreds of birds in the lake during winter, if we hadn’t dealt with the spread of the oil quickly things could have been a lot worse – this was malicious vandalism.

“There was a considerable volume of oil dumped, more like a barrel. It spread into quite a large area.

“The amount of oil was evident from what was seen on the birds. It gets into the feathers and removes their protection which can lead to death.”

Luke Walsh

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