‘Shocked’ owner finds drugs dumped in Patching Pond

Fred Nash by Patching pond, where bin bags have been thrown
Fred Nash by Patching pond, where bin bags have been thrown

A pond owner was ‘totally shocked’ to discover that at least one of the bin bags thrown in his ‘beauty spot’ pond contained drugs.

Fred Nash, who has owned Patching Pond for around 10 years, was alerted by friends last weekend that several black bin bags had been thrown into the six acre pond, where they had become stuck in a layer of ice.

When his friend managed to retrieve a bag using a fishing rod, he found it was full of cannabis stalks and cuttings.

“I was totally shocked,” said the 73-year-old, who lives in Stable Lane, Findon. “It’s crazy that people are dumping drugs in my lake!”

The rest of the bags were stuck dangerously far from the pond’s edge.

“I can’t lift them out because they are frozen into the ice,” he said.

“I can’t get the boat to them because of the ice and I can’t walk on it either.”

Having remained there all week, Mr Nash said he had arranged for friends to remove the bags tomorrow, as the ice has now begun to thaw.

“I’ll be very pleased when they are gone,” he said. “This pond is a beauty spot as well as a place for fishing. 
“I certainly don’t want people dumping things here. They are spoiling the pond and endangering the wildlife.

“They are giving the problem of their waste to someone else.”

He added that he hoped to put up a surveillance camera to stop the flytipping happening again.

Chris Lambourne, from Angmering, who leases the pond from Fred, said he was ‘pretty sure’ the rest of the bags contained drugs too and was also ‘really annoyed’ by the situation.

“At the end of the day, they shouldn’t be doing it,” he said.

The 30-year-old called the police on Tuesday to make them aware of the situation, as he said it was ‘probably not wise’ to take bags which potentially had drugs in them to the tip.

A spokesperson from Sussex Police said: “Police received a report on Tuesday, January 24 that around eight bin liners had been dumped in Patching Pond.

“One of the bags had been recovered and it was believed to contain cannabis plants.

“An officer attended the pond the following day and found it was frozen and was unable to retrieve the bags.

“The Environment Agency and Arun District Council were advised and the council arranged for the bags to be collected.

“The council said it would inform the police if the bags contained drugs or any other suspicious items.”

A spokesperson from Arun Council said: “We have been made aware of the rubbish bags on Patching Pond.

“As this is private land and not part of the council cleansing contract we are in the process of contacting the owner of the pond to ask them to retrieve the bags as a matter of urgency and contact the police if appropriate.”

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