AN investigation is being launched after several oil drums were found dumped around an East Lancashire river.

Nature lovers have condemned fly-tippers who left three barrels in or near Pendle Water, behind the Nelson and Colne College campus.

Further cooking oil barrels were found yards from a gated access route, off Parrock Road, Barrowford, over the weekend.

Robert Oliver, Barrowford Parish Council chairman, said: “The site isn't overlooked by anything and it's worrying if it's been discovered by fly-tippers."

Keen walker John Millar, 63, said: “I come down here all the time and I’ve only just seen these left here.

“It’s just sheer pollution and they look so out of place, given the surroundings.”

Susan Springett added: “They must have rolled them from the business park as there’s no access by car.

“Some I think were empty but one was definitely full of oil. They even left their disposable gloves behind so went prepared.”

Neighbours have also reported seeing three men climbing over nearby fencing.

The incident is understood to have been reported to the Environment Agency.