CURIOUS shoppers and pedestrians took a moment to find out why yellow fish were appearing alongside open drains beside Chippenham's road on Saturday.

What did the fish represent, they wondered - has Banksy paid Chippenham a visit?

In fact, the yellow fish were painted by volunteers along with staff from Wessex Water and the Bristol and Avon Rivers Trust (BART) to raise awareness of water pollution.

Many people are unaware that the majority of open drains are surface drains, designed to take rainwater directly to the nearest stream or waterway. Any oils, paints, solvents or chemicals poured down these drains directly enter the local watercourse and can have huge impacts on wildlife.

Jenny Staton, community engagement coordinator at Wessex Water was part of the team, painting yellow fish by drains in the town centre and near Derriads Pond using temporary, non-harmful chalk-based paints, as well as putting up information posters about the campaign.

"A few people came along on the day, but the impact was really wide, with lots of interest on social media about what we were doing," she said. "We were kept busy in the centre of Chippenham, with people asking what we were doing, and it provoked lots of interest on social media. The yellow fish will disappear over the next couple of weeks."