AN Oxford resident has said her local pond needs some better care after she thought it was drying out.

Carole Thorn, 61 lives on Abingdon Road and regularly goes for walks in Hinksey Park and around the duck pond.

She said she noticed the pond had been drying up, collecting debris and litter and as a result, making the area smell.

She reported the problem to Oxford City Council, but felt that she struggled to get her point across at first.

Oxford Mail:

Ms Thorn said: “I had to really complain at first, the council didn’t take responsibility for it.

"They said that they misunderstood what I said because I call it a duck pond, but they call it a boating pond. They knew what I was talking about, but they would not take responsibility.”

She added: “I tried to report it to the environmental people and they said ‘I’m not going to report it because there are no dead fish yet’, so nobody was taking responsibility and I was hitting a brick wall.”

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The pond was filled up with water from the adjacent Hinksey lake on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, but Ms Thorn said the litter and debris that was causing the pond to smell was not cleared.

She went on: “The council have filled it up now, so that is a good thing, but I do think they should have dredged the pond because it was really stinking. They did not clean out the debris they just topped it up.”

Oxford Mail:

It is not only the drying out pond that is a problem: Ms Thorn was also frustrated by people dropping litter in the area.

She said: “There has been a load of youths around the pond, packs of them, more than usual, they kind of take over the whole park and they are leaving their litter everywhere, making it hard for the council.

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“They probably are short of staff because of the virus. But I think they have to be more aware; it was bank holiday and when I went to the pond there was loads of rubbish everywhere. I go around picking it up because I cannot cope with it. It is such a beautiful place.”

She added: “I just care about the wildlife and I think the council should have been on the ball it was there responsibility at the end of the day.”

A spokesperson from Oxford City Council said: “Oxford City Council and ODS work hard to keep our parks tidy and carry our regular cleaning patrols. We realise this is particularly important during the lockdown with many residents relying on Oxford’s green spaces for their regular exercise. Anyone wanting to report litter can do so through the Council’s website The refilling of the pond was carried out as part of routine maintenance."