AN ANDOVER man has rolled up his sleeves and has begun cleaning the River Anton after reading an article in the Advertiser about a mystery substance in the body of water. 

As previously reported, the substance was first noticed by passers-by on Monday, January 16 and it has upset local residents who say they are fearful for the damage it is causing to the environment. It is believed that the substance might be fuel. 

Magnet fisherman Paul D'arcy said once he saw the article reporting the state of the river, he decided to take action and on Thursday, January 19, he began to tidy it up. 

Andover Advertiser:

READ MORE: Outrage as mystery spillage pollutes water in Andover

Paul said: “When I saw the article, it broke my heart. Not only all the fuel currently travelling through the water but the rubbish as well. The poor wildlife in and around this water, all the fish and birds, this will be causing all kinds of harm to them.

“It’s terrible, and as a local, I couldn’t bear to see it in the state it was. That is why I decided to come down here and try and tidy it up. This is a community, and we deserve to be proud of our area.”

Paul, who is born and raised in Andover, said it was wrong that the river had been allowed to get into the condition it is currently in.

He continued: “Once I got in the water, it's evident just how much fuel is in here. The smell is overpowering."

Speaking on Thursday he said: “I expect I’ll be here for at least four hours. I’ve got my magnet to get out as much of the metal as I can, and a grapple hook for all the plastic in the water.”

Andover Advertiser:

READ MORE: Academy recognised as dyslexia-friendly school by national association

After pulling scrap and waste out of the water, Paul said he would arrange for all the rubbish to be removed, leaving the area clean and tidy.

"Lots of people have been thanking me as they’ve been going past. The area is lovely and there’s no need for it to be left in the condition it has been left in," Paul said.

"It’s terrible for the environment and it’s just wrong.”