Wednesday, 18 November 2009
Serious Steve Hillage*
Bad news for the River Calder last week.
I stepped out for my daily stroll last Friday and the stench of petrol was strong before I even reached the river. Before I could see or hear it. Stopping on the bridge by the old clog factory that sits over some of the prime fishing spots, I could see a rainbow film across the water in both directions. Heady fumes filled the air; I felt high.
Apparently a tanker had leaked two thousand litres of diesel a few miles upstream Walsden and now Todmorden, Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd and beyond smelled like a Middle Eastern oil field.
Reports in the paper said the slick was 15km long and moving swiftly down the Calder and on to the Hebble. It registered as Category One – the worst there is.
Fortunately a lot of people care about the Calder so a clean-up response was swift and it has been teeming down ever since, so the river has puffed out its chest and the worst seems to have passed. I’m not yet sure what the impact is on the fish and bird life down there. Accidents happen but two thousand litres running straight into one of the main arteries of West Yorkshire seems a tad careless.
(* Steve Hillage = spillage)