Swans found covered in oil near Market Deeping
More than 20 swans have been found covered in oil near Market Deeping.
The Bourne Area Group of the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust says the swans were seen covered in oil on the River Welland along with oil drums.
Dog walkers reported the incident to a trust volunteer warden at the Deeping Lakes.
The Environment Agency was called and the RSPCA were also contacted.
Five 25-litre oil drums were found in the river, which were thought to have been dumped from the bridge at Peakirk, near the Deepings.
The Environment Agency also installed a boom (high strength floating barrier) to collect the oil (thought to be waste engine oil) near Crowland.
The wildlife trust says this means that there are over 7km of polluted river/ river bank.
At least 22 swans were seen covered in oil.
The Environment Agency and the RSPCA will continue to monitor the situation.
The wildlife trust said: "It is anticipated that sick/ distressed birds will become more noticeable over the next few days."
"Any birds showing obvious signs of being unwell should be reported to the RSPCA on 0300 1234999."
Swans can die from ingesting the oil as they try and clean it from their feathers.
Today, the wildlife trust said further swans were found covered in oil but the RSPCA was unable to catch any as they flew away.
The trust added: "As the birds try to clean the oil off they will ingest some, and become unwell - so please keep a look-out."