Visitors to Pitshanger Park one day earlier in May were appalled to see a large slick of used cooking oil in the River Brent. It was bad enough to look at from a safe distance, but one unfortunate dog made a closer inspection, emerging, in the words of its owner “like a seabird on the beach after an oil tanker disaster”. The incident was reported to the Environment Agency, who categorised it as a minor incident and declined to investigate. (There was a similar incident several years ago with a quantity of ghee released into the river. In that case there was an investigation and a prosecution). It may help if any future incidents of pollution in the river are reported by as many people as possible to the Environment Agency, whose incident hotline number is 0800 807060.