Mink blamed for raid on garden pond

Bruce Mearns at his home and fish pond in Riverside way Leven 24 Jan 15
Bruce Mearns at his home and fish pond in Riverside way Leven 24 Jan 15

A Leven man has issued a warning to other residents who live close by to the River Leven after he believes mink may have eaten the fish in his pond.

Bruce Mearns lives on Riverside Way, which backs on to the town’s waterway, and told the Mail that he was shocked to discover last weekend that all of his fish were gone.

He explained: “When I came out to my garden at the weekend, the first thing I noticed was the unusual faeces around the garden, which was also at the pond edge - that’s when I realised the fish were gone.”

Mr Mearns only set up his garden pond last year, paying £80 for six large gold fish.

He purchased a child safety net for the pond, which had three inch squares in the top.

“Indeed, I lost one fish to a heron and that was only because (the fish) always stayed at the surface - other than that the fish were doing great .

“There’s lots of cats in the area and they were always around the pond trying to get the fish, but without success.”

Because Mr Mearns believes this was caused by a mink, he has called on the local authority issued a warning to other residents in the other who might have ponds.

In 2012, funds were set aside to carry out a cull of American Mink around the River Leven area as the animal was said to have had a significant impact on other wildlife.

Johanna Willi, biodiversity co-ordinator at Fife Council said: “Over 200 mink were controlled through the Water Vole Project, which started in 2006. The project stopped in 2010 as funding came to an end. There are private landowners across Fife still carrying out mink control, but there’s evidence that mink numbers are on the increase.”

It was also noted that both heron and otter have also seen a big resurgence recently.