A PICTURESQUE lake in a popular part of the Wolds is beginning to run dry following the collapse of its lining.
Environment workers have been advising those at the Madhyamaka Buddhist Centre at Kilnwick Percy, who are responsible for the lake, on how best to plug the hole at one end of the waterway.
Situated in the grounds of the centre, and next to a public walkway that attracts walkers and ramblers, it is fed by a stream running from a northerly direction.
Helping to keep the level constant, water trickles steadily into a stream that runs under the B1246 road at the opposite corner of the lake.
This stream eventually leads to Cocoa Beck next to Woldgate College.
However, following the recent collapse of the lining, it has sent thousands of gallons cascading into the channel beneath the road, with water gushing out far quicker than can be naturally replaced.
As a result, most of the lake has now dried with only a concentrated pool left close to the collapsed section of lining. The lake is home to various marine life, including perch, carp and fresh water mussels, but it is feared some smaller fish may have already perished.
The recent dry weather has also not helped the situation.
The problem was raised with the Environment Agency on 13 May, but the flow is yet to be successfully stemmed.
A spokesperson said: “The lake there has a hole in the lining, so a lot of the water has drained away, resulting in a distressed fish.
“Our role at this stage is to advise, we are not doing a fish rescue although some small, juvenile fish have died.
“Biodiversity officer Martin Fuller advised on biology as there are fresh water mussels.
“The lake is spring fed - so they have been advised to repair the hole and wait for it to fill naturally - obviously with the dry weather this could take some time.
“The centre has its own external consultants working on this.”
A spokesperson for the Madhyamaka Centre said: “It happened a few weeks ago and we have tried sandbagging it to help keep the fish alive but we understand it will be expensive to put right and it’s something we may have to fundraise for.
“We are being advised but it’s not something that will be fixed overnight. We don’t know how long it will take to put right.”
“It’s such a shame and we were all really shocked by what has happened.”