Finchingfield's pond accidentally drained

Image caption The water drained from the pond over the weekend

A pond in a picturesque village has been accidentally drained, killing fish and causing a stink.

Finchingfield in Essex has been described as the most photographed village in England but villagers' views were spoilt after water escaped from its brook during sluice gates repairs.

The Environment Agency said fish had died as a result, with residents saying herons had a "field day".

Finchingfield Parish Council said the emptying of the pond was unintentional.

Villager Roy Cox said he thought up to 100 fish had died when water levels dropped over the weekend after a gate was not closed properly.

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He said: "All the fish have died - we just have one or two sticklebacks in there now because the trout have died, but the herons loved it."

Image copyright Geograph/G Laird
Image caption The pond is in the centre of the "chocolate box" village

Jane Welsh, chair of the parish council, said the work had been agreed by the previous council before recent elections.

She said: "It has upset people and I am not making light of it, because to see dead fish in a pond is not a pleasant sight anywhere - not least because it is in the centre of the village."

Image copyright Russell Savory
Image caption Finchingfield recently reintroduced beavers in a bid to control water levels

The Environment Agency said the water level had dropped significantly and 10 fish had been found dead.

A spokeswoman said: "After a thorough investigation at the site, there are not thought to be any further detrimental impacts on the environment."

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