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Last Updated: Monday March 05 2007 06:21 GMT

I helped birds rescued from pollution

Poppy helps with the water testing

A tanker called the Napoli was grounded near Branscombe beach in Devon on 20 January.

Chemicals spilled from the ship which polluted the water and lots of birds had to be rescued because they were covered in oil.

Press Packer Poppy lives in the area and she wanted to know if the environment was now getting better after the disaster.

Newsround helped her get some answers.


"I live in East Devon. I like living here because I can go sailing, snorkelling and wildlife watching.

When I first heard about the Napoli I was worried about the pollution and the damage it could do to the environment because I love the beaches around here.

I read stories about rubbish and dead wildlife washed up on the beach.

Taking the birds to be released

Water testing

I wondered how long it would take for the environment to get better so Newsround helped me to find out more.

I had the most amazing day because first I went to Sidmouth Beach and interviewed a man from the Environment Agency.

We took some water samples to see how clean the sea was. The samples were then going to be sent to a laboratory to be tested.

But I was told that the water did look clean, which I was pleased about.

Oily birds

After lunch I went with Newsround to Lynton in North Devon, to help the RSPCA let 28 guillemots free, at the Valley of Rocks.

These seabirds got covered in oil from the Napoli and had to be rescued and have the oil washed off them.

Now after weeks of recovery, they were going to be released back in the wild.

Wriggling

When I arrived there I helped carry the boxes to where they were going let the birds go.

They were quite heavy and were wriggling about!

The birds are released

We took them to a very high cliff which was freezing and was extremely windy.

I was really excited and I knew the birds wanted to be free.

New home

Sean of the RSPCA said that 995 seabirds were rescued and 380 had to be put to sleep.

Sean was hoping to release at least 350 seabirds back to the wild.

He said it was not safe to return them in East Devon because it's too close to the Napoli and they could get oiled again.

The RSPCA think the birds will be able to make a new home in Woody bay.

One wish

At the end of my day I found out that a lot is being done to help the environment - to clean the water up and help the birds get back into the wild.

I only wish the birds could have returned to their home in East Devon.

And I hope the Napoli will be gone soon."

Poppy, 8, East Devon


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