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Woolton Hill beauty spot closed due to pollution fears

Oil from house fire on Tuesday is believed to have entered the watercourse

A popular beauty spot in Woolton Hill has been closed over fears that oil has leaked into the watercourse following a major fire at a nearby property.

The Chase – a 143-acre area of parkland which is home to an abundance of wildlife and frequented by walkers – has been shut off to the public.

A sign on the entrance gate reads: 'Please do not enter – site closed due to major pollution incident. Clear up in progress.'

The fire on Tuesday evening completely destroyed two properties and it is believed that oil from an outside tanker stored in one of the gardens ignited and leaked into the sewers and drains.

The watercourse from the properties leads to The Chase, which is situated around 100 metres away.

It is managed by The National Trust and a spokesperson for the organisation said: “We are aware of the incident involving a serious fire at privately-owned residences close to our woodland and countryside at Woolton Hill.

"We are grateful for the support of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and are working closely with the Environment Agency and Thames Water to establish what environmental impact this may have had at The Chase.”

A Thames Water spokesperson said: "Our engineers are at the scene to inspect and repair any damage caused to the sewer network.”

Newburytoday is currently awaiting a response from the Environment Agency.

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