National Trust Pembrokeshire has launched a clean-up operation at Stackpole after hundreds of litres of oil was found illegally dumped at the beauty spot last week.

The waste engine oil was discovered in Castle Dock Woods car park by the Trust’s ranger team whose quick response to the incident minimised the pollution risk to the environment.

A swift clear-up by a specialist contractor saw more than 800 litres of waste oil, contaminated surface water and a skip full of contaminated material removed from the site.

However, with the oil less than 30 metres away from a pond which feeds into Bosherston Lakes, the conservation charity has warned that the outcome could have been much worse.

A spokesperson for the Trust advised: “We were appalled to discover that someone had dumped engine oil at Castle Dock Woods.

“Our team acted quickly to remove the waste as the oil posed a serious risk to the natural environment including the local wildlife, vegetation and our iconic lily ponds.

“As well as the impact on the landscape, the clearance work has cost the National Trust thousands of pounds; money which could have been spent on maintenance work and visitor experience improvements.

“We all have a responsibility to respect and protect our natural environment, and we kindly ask visitors and neighbours to remain vigilant and contact the Stackpole team if you do have any concerns about illegal activity on the estate.

“It’s only with the public’s support that we’re able to care for special places like Stackpole for future generations to enjoy.”