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5 October 2018

Yesterday (Thursday) Masterton District Council (MDC) was made aware of a controlled burn of Pampas Grass (a noxious weed) on the island at Henley Lake.

The burn was carried out by the Henley Trust 2003, and was approved by the Chairman of the Trust with the Fire Service notified prior to the burn. It was lit by one of the Henley Trust Trustees.

MDC has been assured that the person carrying out the controlled burn had investigated the area thoroughly for any birdlife before starting the burn. We have also been assured that they remained on the island for duration of the burn to ensure it remained under control.

MDC staff went to try and locate a duck which had reportedly been injured on Thursday afternoon, without success. Staff will be at Henley Lake again today to try and locate the duck.

We have been speaking with the SPCA about the appropriate handling of the duck. Should it be located, vet care will be undertaken and it will be taken to a suitable home.

We are asking any members of the public to please call 06 370 6300 if they come across any injured wildlife at Henley Lake, with exact details of the location.

This is a deeply regrettable incident as it appears a duck has been unintentionally harmed during this weed control exercise carried out by a well-meaning community group.

MDC will be reviewing the incident, including any areas where MDC could have done better to support the community group in an effective weed control burn off.