A council-led clean-up of a pond in Sunderland has led to the discovery of an incredible range of sunken debris.

A wheelie bin, scooters, bicycles, motorbikes, mattresses and even a crossbow bolt were among the items dragged from the water.

Council employees also found gas bottles, doors and doorframes dumped in the pond at the Downhill Community Sports Complex.

The remains of a mattress visible in the pond before the clean-up

The clean-up was the idea of Redhill Councillors Cllr Ronny Davison and Cllr Paul Stewart, who were responding to community concerns about the effects of fly-tipping on the pond.

Now it is hoped that the pond will be a more pleasant environment for its resident swans and the council is urging local people to help keep it in good condition.

Sunderland City Council’s portfolio holder for environment and transport, Cllr Amy Wilson, said, “It’s unbelievable the amount of rubbish that came out of there during the clean-up and absolutely shameful that anyone would think it’s OK to dump waste in a pond in the first place.”

“You only have to look at the ‘before’ pictures to see the horrendous filth the poor swans were having to swim around in.”

A ‘before’ picture with a wheelie bin in the pond

“The clean-up has made an amazing difference both to the appearance of the pond and to swimming conditions for the swans and I’d appeal to everyone to help us keep it that way and if you do see anyone dumping anything there to report it.”

You can report fly-tipping and litter to the council by visiting Sunderland.gov.uk or telephoning 0191 520 5550. You can also report such issues to your local ward councillor.

Since February 2017, over 1,300 formal warnings and notices and 173 fixed penalty notices have been issued across Sunderland for environmental offences, such as dog fouling, littering and fly-tipping.

(The article’s main image shows the pond at the Downhill Community Sports Complex after the clean-up.)

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