Dog walkers have been warned to take care after “oil” was discharged into the stream near a popular Wiltshire footpath.

The pollution first appeared in the small stream that runs directly behind the Chippenham Community Hospital, on Rowden Hill, and intersects with the Rowden Mile footpath.

A red liquid that appears to be "diesel", giving off a strong smell, appeared in the water on Saturday, February 24.

Walkers on the route were visibly concerned by the pollution on Monday morning.

One said: “It’s terrible, it will be no good for the wildlife and it stinks.”

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Pollution at the stream in ChippenhamPollution at the stream in Chippenham (Image: Newsquest)

Other locals took to Facebook to alert dog walkers not to let their pets enter the water.

The Environment Agency has been investigating the source of the pollution and says the discharge of oil into the water has now been stopped.

An operation will now take place to remedy the mess, which remained at the scene on Monday.

A spokesperson said: “We attended a pollution by oil in the area of Gypsy Lane, Chippenham, over the weekend and again on Monday, February 26, following several reports made from members of the public starting on Saturday. 

“The source of the pollution has been identified and the discharge has now stopped. Measures are being put in place to remediate the pollution.”