THEY were desperate for help – and the public answered.

Peter and Debbie Beale appealed in the Daily Echo for help clearing 70 tonnes of gravel that washed into their Broadlands Lakes Coarse Fishery business near Romsey, burying 2,000 of their trout alive.

The call was answered by GAP Group Plant Hire who donated a digger and dumper truck free of charge to clear the lake.

Debbie said: “We are absolutely chuffed to bits. It means we can carry on doing work reducing the water levels rather than worrying about the gravel. There’s still lots to do, and it took us a week to fill a 9ft deep sinkhole, but luckily we had people come down to help us.

“We are very grateful to GAP and everyone else who has helped us. The water is now going down and we are able to get customers in again.”

The 82-acre estate is popular for pike fishing and is also hosting the British Carp Angling Championships for the seventh year running.