Thousands of fish have died in the county’s worst pesticide leak into a river in 15 years.

Between 5,000 and 6,000 litres of pesticide spilled into Toppesfield Brook last Wednesday after a crop sprayer toppled over.

Despite huge efforts, the pollution has affected at least 10km of the River Colne and has reached Halstead and Earls Colne.

Jamie Fairfull, senior environment officer at the Environment Agency, said the smallest drop of pesticide is fatal to crop pests: “Between 5,000 and 6,000 litres has been spilt.

"When you start to imagine at droplet level it can do that much damage, how much that was spilt was fairly catastrophic really.”

Full report in today's Gazette.