Hundreds of yellow fish are to appear in unusual places across Cramlington.
The fish, created by Northumbrian Water, are to encourage people to think about what they put down surface water drains and the impact misuse of road gullies can have on the local aquatic environment.
The three-and-a-half-inch diameter plaques, which feature the fish and the words ‘DON’T POLLUTE – DRAINS TO RIVER’, will be installed next to road gullies near Horton Burn.
Youngsters from two local schools, Northburn Primary and Eastlea Primary, took part in the unveiling of the first fishy plaque on Edgefield Drive, Cramlington, alongside representatives of Northumbrian Water, the Environment Agency and Northumberland Wildlife Trust.
Steve Robson, Northumbrian Water’s technical support team leader, said: “The introduction of the yellow fish is a simple and creative way to encourage people to look after the water courses in their local community.
“We appreciate that wrong connections may have been made many years ago and predate current property owners, who may not be aware.
“They could also have happened accidentally or been made in ignorance or by carelessness when extensions or house alterations were built, so we are keen to explore any potential misconnections and make Horton Burn a healthier part of the local environment.”
Paul Fairbairn, environment officer at the Environment Agency, said: “This initiative is a great opportunity to engage with residents raising awareness of what can cause pollution. We work hard to improve water quality and minimise pollution in urban areas, but we need the local community to play their part.”
“Together we can reduce the risk of pollution incidents in our streams and rivers and keep improving our local environment.”
Sarah Beeson, Northumberland Wildlife Trust Conservation Officer said: “What a great way to draw people’s attention to this issue. I’m hoping the people of Cramlington get behind it. It’s great to get the local school children involved and, who knows, one of them may be the next David Attenborough or Chris Packham.”