Lakes in Didcot that had rubbish and oil drums floating in them four years ago are now supplying fish to other town parks.

A third of the fish stocks in lakes at Ladygrove Park have been removed by the Environment Agency to supply lakes at Hinksey, Oxford, and lakes dug to promote fishing in an urban area at Moulden Hill in Swindon.

Darren Bedworth, a fisheries officer for the Environment Agency, said: "The lakes in Ladygrove Park are very productive and the fish breed really well there. The problem is that when you get too many it can lead to outbreaks of disease and the fish stay small because there is not enough food for them all."

Fish removed from the Ladygrove Park, including roach, rudd, bream and perch, were given a health check before they were transferred to other lakes and the Environment Agency found that they were free of disease and in good condition.

Thanks to a successful partnership between Didcot Town Council and The Ladygrove Fishing Association, efforts to improve the environment at Ladygrove Park have turned the site into a valuable amenity.

Jim Goodall, honorary secretary of the Ladygrove Fishing Association, said: "When we took the park over three and a half years ago, it was basically a mess. People were fishing the lakes for carp from as far afield as Swindon and Oxford and were not being hygienic as far as toilets were concerned. People are using it more as a park now."

The association has given £450 to the council, which will be used to landscape one of the banks with a mix of wild flowers.

The council has installed an overflow pipe to prevent a repeat of winter floods in the park. Resurfacing work has also been carried out by the fishing association, with funding from the council, to resurface a path around the lakes that was affected by the flooding.

Brenda Andrews, the technical manager for the town council, said: "We are planning to sort out the bank erosion by the middle of June by putting down coir rolls that are already planted up to help stabilise the bank edge and introduce more vegetation.

"In the longer term, we are hoping to encourage water vole conservation. We have got a good habitat in the park for water voles, but there are not any established there."

The association has a five-year agreement with the town council to look after the lakes.