RESIDENTS were “heart broken” to see the mess which flytippers had left in a Canvey lake, claiming the issue has plagued the island for years.

Rubbish, gas cannisters, flotsam, an item what looks like a fridge and more “horrid junk”, were found in the lake behind Canvey Island Rugby Club, by a mum and her 12-year-old taking a walk.

The Canvey mother, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “I was most upset with the sorry sight me and my daughter saw. We knew it was bad, but hearing how upset my daughter got at this was heart breaking.

“There’s chemicals in the water and fly tipping everywhere. I can’t be certain but the duck looked covered in what I assume was oil, flew off fine I’ll add - if it had looked sick I wouldn’t have left it.

“The look on my daughter’s face made me stop taking pictures.” Canvey resident, Marion Brocklebank, was also “disgusted” at the mess. The 63 year old added: “It’s absolutely disgraceful and has been like this for years. It’s been noticed and reported but has only got worse.”

“My grandson does rugby there, he’s used to the mess now. My daughter in law whose disabled and has to be in a wheelchair, can’t get round there when she takes him to rugby because the flytipping is usually everywhere not just in the lake.”

Councillor Dave Blackwell, said: “This problem has been there for years, one lad from the rugby club has complained till he’s blue in the face. His first complaint was eight years ago.

“The flytipping had silted up the creek, and where we’ve had no rain, it’s bone dry. It’s just awful, it’s such a lovely place and has become a mess.

“It looks stagnant, it’s starting to smell, it’s just filled with gas bottles, beer crates and rubbish. Sooner or later it will become polluted.”

Councillor Michael Fuller for the Canvey Island North ward, spotted the flytipping and reported it to the Environmental Agency. Flytipping has silted up the creek, causing water levels to decrease.

An Environment Agency spokesman said: “We attended the site and saw that the water had drained away to a low level. This had exposed anoxic sediment, which is black, naturally occurring and has a strong odour, at the bottom of the channel.

“Work has been carried out to stop the water draining away and it is now rising slowly. We expect the water level in the creek to return to normal over the course of the coming days.

“As we don’t consider the materials to pose a flood risk it would be down to the landowner to remove it.”