Passion For… Clean Rivers

John Bailey

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Here at Thomas Turner we specialise in vintage and retro tackle, and pride ourselves on our knowledge of the subject. You could rightly say that tackle is our Passion, and we are always here to buy, to sell, and above all, offer advice on the gear you might just have found in your garage. All well and good, but there is a word missing: “fishing”. We might know one Hardy Perfect reel from another, but our core is fishing. Here we are all fishing people, and the fish, and rivers especially, are absolutely central to what our world is about. Therefore we cannot ignore the crisis that is unfolding, and the growing storm over how our rivers are managed. What follows is where Thomas Turner stands on this most contentious of subjects but also, and vitally, where are you with your thoughts on the future of your rivers? We truly are in this river nightmare together.

There is absolutely nothing new about the battle for clean rivers. The “Great Stink” that afflicted the Thames at Westminster in the 1850s led to the building of the capital’s sewers. The Salmon and Trout Association was founded as far back as 1903, and the pollution-battling Anglers Conservation Association followed in 1948. Over the years there has been the Mundella Act, the Clean Rivers Act, and the formation of the Pure Rivers Society. Great angling editors like Francis Francis, William Senior and Hugh Tempest Sheringham campaigned tirelessly for clean rivers a century ago. Since then, we have applauded the Atlantic Salmon Trust and the fight Hugh Falkus waged against acid rain. And yet, despite all these battles, the war has never been so far from being won as it is today.

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The Wye continually runs rusty brown

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The Wye in flood only increases the amount of chicken droppings in the river rather than having a cleaning effect

Right now, it is impossible to ignore the state our rivers are in… unless you are in government, or one of the statutory authorities who should be doing something about it all. In every section of the media we are bombarded by reports of rivers in peril, and so loud and so confusing is the clamour that it’s all but impossible to make sense of any of it. But let’s try. As ever, Thomas Turner is here to help!! Let’s look at the Villains first.

Perhaps “Villains” is a strong word and too emotive, but we should be tired of sitting on fences, pussyfooting around this crime against the environment. Let’s start with the dredging and draining practices that began after the Second World War. Deep dredging canalised miles of river, with the view of draining historic flood meadows and rushing excess water to the sea. Many rivers lost 75% of their natural habitat in the drive to create more farmland that has largely resulted in downstream flooding. Upland rivers have suffered from overgrazing, ill-advised forestry, ploughing, and peat exploitation.

Let’s turn to the pharmaceutical industry, responsible for antibiotics, contraceptive pills and antidepressants which go down our waste pipes. Water companies can’t deal with the residue which ends up in rivers, messing with fish, birds and invertebrates. Whilst an ever more dependent society might need these drugs, should not Unilever, GlaxoSmithKline and the rest pay to clean the effects of their products?

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Locals report the neighbouring Severn is also suffering from agricultural run-off

What about sewage, much of it untreated and dumped into our rivers? This is a curse, especially after rain when outdated treatment plants are overwhelmed. There are tens, if not hundreds of thousands of illegal sewage spills annually, and at Twickenham a billion litres of sewage a day can sometimes find its way into the Thames. In 2019, water companies spent 1.5 million hours discharging sewage into rivers, and Wessex Water dumped sewage into the Hampshire Avon catchment for 14,642 hours. The Windrush Versus Sewage Group has been set up to deal with this scandal in Oxfordshire, but why do citizens have to deal with these crimes, and not the so-called regulators?

We can’t let industry off completely, but agriculture has attracted every spotlight as a major river polluter. 60-70% of damaging phosphates in our rivers come directly from farming practices. Agriculture depends on insectides, pesticides and every “cide’” you can think of, and yet it is scarcely regulated at all. A typical farm can expect an inspection on average every 263 years, and in the meanwhile is free to operate as it wishes. Even apple orchards that we think of as quintessential Cider With Rosie havens are sprayed multiple times by the end of the summer, the excess chemicals gushing into the rivers when it rains.

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Abstraction is a killer too, sucking our rivers’ lifeblood in front of our very eyes. Feargal Sharkey has demonstrated famously that virtually all the water in the Lea comes from the outfall of Luton sewage works. The way we use water is lamentable. Domestic waste water from laundry and showering can be recycled to flush toilets, water the garden and clean cars, rather than taking water from the rivers to do these jobs. Porous drives and car parks would allow water back into the aquifer. Water butts would allow us to collect rain water for our gardens. And how come we use 142 litres of water a day, on average, when the Danes use half that? A bath takes 80 litres of water, and a power shower five litres of water a minute. Washing your car? There goes a further 250 litres. To save our rivers, we all need to think smart.

Sticking with Villains, the regulators are woeful. “The Environment Agency turned twenty five years old but our rivers won’t be celebrating,” said Nick Measham, chief executive of Salmon and Trout Conservation, in April this year. When it comes to prosecuting polluters, Guy Linley-Adams at S&TC has said “the system is broken. The watchdog has been chained, beaten and muzzled.”

Perhaps we are all to blame because we just don’t care enough. Didn’t a recent survey reveal more people worried about their internet connection than about their water supply? Perhaps we just don’t know enough? Perhaps Countryfile is to blame in the way it paints a banal picture of the countryside as a happy Nirvana where Beatrix Potter animals roam? How about those Westminster Greens like Carrie Johnson who have the PM’s ear, but spend all their energies fretting over beavers rather than basics?


In the last week or two, a high water mark has been reached. How many of you have watched Rivercide, a YouTube film made by George Monbiot? (See above) Watch it. It lasts an hour and crystallises everything you need to know about how our rivers are abused. It concerns the Wye and that iconic river’s destruction at the hands of completely unregulated chicken farmers, who operate rash-like over its catchment area. Put simply, the river is drowning in chicken shit, and just yesterday the Wye oozed its way North of Hereford as a stinking, green, phosphate-filled ditch.

Monbiot shows how chicken manure is spread on the land ankle-deep. We know this: Thomas Turner has witnessed it. Chicken shit carries five times the phosphate levels of sheep, and after rain this overdose of phosphate seeps into the soil where it builds up over time. And of course, from the land it ends up inevitably in the river, producing algae blooms that kill light and oxygen. The stones along the river bed are slime-ridden and the river runs a perpetual rusty brown or pea green. Ranunculus has all but vanished. Don’t even ask what has happened to the fish and invertebrates, but Wye guide Nathan Jubb has described the scenario like “watching someone you love die of cancer.”

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A call for action in a Hereford tackle shop

Natural Resources Wales and, yet again, the Environment Agency should have been regulating this whole process, but predictably have shown themselves to be worse than useless. When asked by Monbiot, they confessed complete ignorance of the numbers of units and of chickens within them. The whole scandal has been revealed by the Citizen Scientists organisation and by members of groups like the Campaign For the Protection Of Rural Wales. Just five years ago, the Wye ran magnificent. Today it is a tragic disgrace. But perhaps the scale of this crime is what is needed to galvanise the lumbering nature of environmental policies in this country into some sort of action? TT has dealt with the Villains: the Wye Rivercide clarion call is bringing forth the Heroes.

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Their AT sticker demanding action

Monbiot himself is the type of fang-toothed campaigner we must have and to whom we must listen. He has had a chequered past, but on the Wye and chicken shit he is on the money. Add in Feargal Sharkey, he of The Undertones and “A Good Heart.” What a revelation he has been. Bob Mortimer assures us at TT that he will use his podcasts to spread the word, and perhaps even mount a petition. Stephen Townley, a lawyer in the Wye valley, has striven with some success to curb the worst of the damage inflicted by unregulated canoeing. The Angling Trust’s Anglers Against Pollution campaign is bearing fruit, and has forced the EA to promise fifty new agricultural inspector jobs in the immediate future. Simon Cooper’s Fishing Breaks newsletters are a constant beacon of common sense and should be read by all. There are watchdog groups on rivers like the Wharfe doing great work, and the Wild Trout Trust is an inspiration in dark times. The Eden Project has promised to support the fight for the Wye, and the Wye & Usk Foundation is stepping up to the mark. In fact, Wye Warriors are emerging everywhere, and just need their energies to be harnessed.

Perhaps the fate of the Wye could prove to be the straw that at last breaks the back of regulatory indolence and inefficiency. Here at TT we are waiting to hear what you have to say, and what you think we should be doing together as informed, concerned anglers. We are a tackle institution but there there is no tackle without fishing and our back is firmly against this wheel. The time for change has now surely come.
 
J

John Bailey

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The Wye looks so serene and pure… from a distance

Passion For... Clean Rivers (Part 2)

In the few days since TT first talked about the Passion For Clean Rivers, things have moved on, especially down on the Wye. The weekend just gone (24/25th July) saw large numbers of salmon dying in the middle reaches of this river, and barbel dead in the upper river above Hay and into Wales.

We are not saying here that the Wye is more important than any other river, but the fact is that it is iconic, beloved by all who appreciate the countryside (not just anglers), is an essential part of the home tourist industry, and is of course an SAC and SSSI. Steve Hunt at Sportfish said that “the Wye is on its arse” and he is right. He went on to say that in his opinion it might be too late to save it, and that is a dreadful indictment of the way we have allowed all our rivers to be treated this century.

In many ways, the Wye crystallises all that is wrong with UK river management. There is a battle emerging for the Wye that could be our Waterloo, our huge and perhaps last chance to save our rivers this century. If we lose a river as totemic as the Wye, then is there a river in the land that can be remotely regarded as safe?

At TT, we would like to thank the scores of River Wye experts who have talked to us these last three days, and of course George Monbiot, who kicked the hornets’ nest big time. If you haven’t seen his film Rivercide on YouTube, you simply MUST!

THE PROBLEMS AS TT SEES THEM

Like many rivers, the Wye has probably been in some decline for twenty years or more. The growth in potato farming has long been seen as an issue, along with worries over the increase in sheep numbers.

For this period, and probably for much longer, the Wye has depended on flushes of clean water coming down from the Welsh uplands to clean it out, in summer especially. There has always been a certain amount of algae growth in the river in the hotter months, but this has not reached crisis proportions because of these regular pushes of cleansing water from Wales.


The Wye in flood… the trouble is more phosphates are being swept into the river
from the fields where chicken excreta is spread

As Rivercide made clear, the water coming down the Wye has now itself been degraded by the number of chicken units now operating, in Powys especially. Chicken excreta is highly loaded with phosphates, and this is now finding its way into the river and frequently creating an algal soup. Oxygen levels plummet, especially in hot weather, and fish die. Weed vanishes. Insect life collapses, along with the bird life that depends on it. The river becomes little more than a stinking ditch, incapable of sustaining anything like vibrant life.

Natural Resources Wales, the Environment Agency, and Natural England should all be aware and on top of this situation, but they are not and have not been. Monbiot’s film proved that the first two agencies had little idea how many poultry units they had licensed, how many birds were being raised, or how these units were being run. It would seem that the chicken business has run riot in the Wye catchment, and that the statutory authorities have lost control of the whole Wild West situation. As both NRW and the EA plead, their budgets have been cut, but the fact remains that money in both camps is very evidently frequently wasted, and the licensing and policing of poultry units should have been top of their respective agendas.



Paul and Bob on the Wye… two 100% genuine and passionate anglers…

There are several contributing factors. The number of canoes has far outstripped the river’s capacity to cope with them, especially as the canoe industry has been largely unregulated and novice canoeists have no idea of the damage they are doing to spawning redds. Cormorants numbers have grown to plague proportions. The fact that the Wye is part-English, part-Welsh has not encouraged joined-up thinking. The many groups have that have arisen to save the Wye often act individually, and there has certainly been no common voice.

The fact is that despite the damage these factors have contributed to, at the moment, what is killing the Wye, and we use the word carefully, is the appalling decline in water quality. Until this is addressed, every other issue fades into relative insignificance.

TT’S POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

We stress these are not our brainwaves, but those of the experts we have talked to. What is obvious is that action is required, and required now. Too often in river management, too many groups simply become talking shops, jealous of their position – or their funding. We also suggest that whether you fish the Wye or not, you should help, or at least take an interest. The horrors down here on the Wye prove none of us are safe.

Perhaps the number one objective is to force NRW and the EA to face facts, to accept that mistakes have been made, and to start putting the evident wrongs right. At present both authorities are stonewalling, and in the EA’s case at least, denying there is a serious problem. Getting organisations like the EA to budge is historically difficult, but this has become an essentiality in this case. What can any of us do?



Anglers up for a fight

TT believes we should support those great organisations that are at least trying. The Wye Salmon Association is a fine example of a voluntary group passionate about change. WSA has recruited over forty volunteers to check phosphate levels along the Wye, and now has a huge amount of information over a whole range of data. These are the facts with which NRW and the EA can be confronted. The Angling Trust has forced the EA to employ fifty more farm inspectors. Great. Let’s make sure they are employed now, and they have a map of the Welsh borders!

Many people have told us angling has to unite for once in the face of this catastrophe… for that is what we are looking at. The Wye Salmon Association and the Wye & Usk Foundation should be working together. Let’s draw in the Angling Trust, the River Wye Gillies Association, and let’s see game and coarse anglers talk to one another for once. There’s good sense talked in Woody’s Angling Centre, just as there is at Sportfish and Orvis.

Let’s all of us march to the same tune, no matter what our differences in the past. Anglers should be talking with the Wye Phosphate Working Group, the Friends Of the Upper Wye, and the Campaign For The Protection Of Rural Wales.


Ranunculus is a weed of the past on the Wye

So great is the danger that, yes, we should be talking to the canoeists and the wild swimmers, because the river belongs to all of us. Even the RSPB should be in on this one. Are they aware that the Wye swan population is teetering? The almost complete decline in ranunculus beds as a result of sky high phosphate levels led to the deaths of most cygnets on the river in 2020. In 2021, very few adults have even made nests or laid eggs at all. Numerous riverside householders are reporting swans eating their lawns for the first time ever. The RSPB should be all over this one, surely?

We are told we live in a democracy, so we should be driving our elected members over this one. TT have been impressed by the efforts of Jesse Norman, MP for Hereford. On 30th June this year, Norman called out NRW, the EA and Natural England for not tackling phosphate pollution. The pressure on all our MPs is something we can all help stoke and maintain.

The media have to pick up on this situation if we are to get the message across, educate the wider public, and get them on our side. How? Ideas please! Can angling celebs (horrible word) play a useful and sustained part? Certainly Feargal Sharkey has raised the temperature over the chalk streams. There is no better, more genuine angler than Paul Whitehouse, who is also a member of the Wye Salmon Association. Perhaps these anglers can open a door that the sport as a whole can troop through?


The glorious Tweed… is this an example to follow?

It has also been suggested that the Wye needs to be run in the way the River Tweed Commission runs that great river. One body with serious powers dedicated to the well-being of the catchment under their control. What do Scottish salmon anglers think of that one?

It’s good to end this on a question, because here at Thomas Turner we are throwing this open to you. Yes, we are a company dealing in veteran and retro tackle, but at heart we are anglers, passionate about fishing, especially wild fishing in rivers. This is who we are, and this is what we are pledged to do. Please, let’s all get on top of this together, because if we lose the Wye, we are close to losing the lot!

The post Passion For… Clean Rivers (Part 2) first appeared on FishingMagic Magazine.

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LPP

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John, this is an incredibly powerful and well written article joining together many of the great efforts that are going on and have been for years in some cases.
The Environment Agency objective, stated on their website:

"protect and improving water, land and biodiversity. Improve the way we work as a regulator to protect people and the environment and support sustainable growth"

My business would be closed down within a month if we failed as miserably as this body.
 

whitty

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I agree with this John,but again,unless we get government to take over control of our water we will never be able to take on the big money behind water companies,the point of the Lea is well taken,but if it wasn't for me having a shower,bath,doing the washing etc living in Luton,the Lea would be dry,i've mentioned this in another thread on FM,where does Luton source it's water,I take it it's the water table,the same as Hitchin,Stevenage,Bedford,Leighton Buzzard,all fair population centres,not one drinking water reservoir,why,the water table needs protecting,every river in the country has issues of sewage pollution,let alone farming and industrial pollutions,if our own goverment can't be arsed to stop this carnage,what chance do anglers,the least respected of all river users stand,I hope someone might listen to us,but most just say we have an an underhand reason for needing clean rivers...
 

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It's hard to know where to begin, really.

Just taking the Agricultural side, I believe food is far too cheap, and this leads in no small part to lots of practices that are detrimental to the environment.
We're in the era of Agro business, the small traditional farms have all but disappeared to be replaced with large scale industrial units.
Trouble is, the large scale units can still use the traditional methods to their advantage.....they're not spreading dung to improve the land, they're spreading it as a means of waste disposal because they can.
John has highlighted a lot of the problems the Wye is facing, but I'm increasingly convinced this mass scale chicken farming is to blame.
I live on the banks of the Exe in Devon, and it shares a lot of the problems the Wye has.
Intensive Agriculture on much of it's course, sewage discharges from antiquated systems and increasingly abstraction, although not on the scale of the Wye.
I've never seen anything remotely resembling an algal bloom in it, and thankfully the Ranunculos appears as healthy as ever.....at the moment..
There seems to be an insatiable appetite for Chicken, as NottsKev pointed out in a different thread, it has become an everyday food, because it is so cheap, whereas 40 years ago it was considered a treat.
We can all blame the authorities, and it's right that we should if they are failing in their duties to protect the things they are meant to, but it wouldn't do any harm to have a look at ourselves once in a while.
 
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whitty

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Food is too cheap,unless your on the breadline,then you can't afford enough of it,majority of us are fine,many are not,it doesn't matter how cheap food is,a farmer should be responsible for his actions,polluting fields,rivers etc,just like people should be responsible for their litter,but we don't police these things well enough,or enforce big fines to clobber those responsible,water companies should receive fines matching their incomes,parents should be forced to pay fines for their horrible children,so they shellack their kids rather than pat them on the back,society as a whole don't care about anything,they say they do,then empty their rubbish in a park,or throw it in a river...
 

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So this is what happens on the rare occasion the EA does prosecute.....hardly a deterent, Ffs!

You can be fined up to £2500 for fishing without a Licence.

A total joke.
 

steve2

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Food should be cheap but that doesn't mean destroying this planet just to produce it. Maximum profit is the only thing that counts in this world.
Looking at the figures there are around 150 million chickens on farms in this country plus millions more ducks geese etc all produce millions of tons of waste that as to go somewhere. So it spread on the land and ends up in the waterways. It is the same with trout and salmon farms they all produce waste that ends up in waterways I assume it the same with the waste from carp farms.
There is a train of thought that over time it will end up in the water you drink.
 

whitty

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I watched the entire video on you tube and what is going on on the Wye is a disgrace,it must be going on around the country,with so much chicken shit,containing such high levels of nitrates so as the plants can't use it all,allowing build up to continually seep into the rivers,our supposed environment watchdogs both in England and Wales having funding cut alarmingly means that more businesses are going to chance their arms for profit...
 

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I’m happy, if that is the right word, to have heard from Stuart Smith of the Wye Salmon Association, commenting on my last piece. I’ll be honest: I have been worried that the last few days of cooler, wetter weather might have lost us focus on this issue, and I’m reassured that men like Stuart and Stephen Townley are in for the long haul.

Stuart points out that the River Wye Gillies Association folded about five years ago as there simply weren’t enough of them to carry on the group. I didn’t know that. Sorry. What an indictment on the state of the river.

He also suggests that we are looking at 17 MILLION chickens in the catchment area.

Perhaps even more depressing is the fact (which I had overlooked) that dead salmon do not gas up and float. As Stuart says, just because fifteen or so salmon were seen dead and floating at the weekend, that does not mean there were not worse horrors beneath the surface. While we are on that subject, do we know what happens to dead barbel in this regard?
 

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He also suggests that we are looking at 17 MILLION chickens in the catchment area.
I've spoken to a friend who keeps around 100 chickens about the waste they each produce daily .
A conservative estimate, allowing for differences between "seasons", would be around 0.1 kilos per day. Do the sums and 17 million produce a mountain of waste daily. I make that 1700 tonnes daily, enough to fill 68 trucks @ 25 tonnes each. I guess that some will be used as 'organic' fertiliser and the rest?
These huge farms are part of very serious business and it would be extremely interesting to know how they dispose of the waste and their awareness of the effects on the Wye and other rivers.
 

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It is estimated that one billion chickens are slaughtered every year in this country for food or pet food. One billion is a lot of poo to get rid of.
 

mikench

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Chicken shit or the runoff from it pollutes rivers and lakes. It produces ammonia, nitrates and nitrites which effectively causes fish to die from oxygen starvation. Ironically the fish that suffer most are roach, Rudd and bream. Carp can cope as they have a different gill structure. This run off occurs from farming land so the responsibility rest with farmers. This line of causation can be followed and the culprits heavily fined.

Slurry from cows has a similar effect and line of causation.

The small amounts of drugs which enter rivers through water companies discharging sewage and waste water is more difficult to draw a line of causation for . Is it me who pees and c**** whilst on medication or the drug companies or the water companies. Certainly those who flush their unused antibiotics and other medicines down the loo are contributing to the problem in the mistaken belief/assumption that waste is properly treated to remove such impurities. Water supplies and treatment should never have been privatised in the first place. Profits come before compliance.

We need to go back to basics. It takes 1 kilo of feed to produce 2 kilos of chicken but 8 kilos to produce 2 kilos of beef. That does not make any sense in a world overheating and with increasing population. Throw plastic, metals, chemicals and other waste into the mix the it's a wonder we have lasted this long. We certainly don't have another 2,000 years to finish the job or turn it around - maybe 30 at most!

I have said it so many times , humanity is a filthy, uncaring and dangerous species endangering our world for every living thing. We need to get tough starting with fly tippers, rubbish droppers( masks are the new fag butts), farmers, water companies and the public generally who don't give a fig. If dropping litter became as serious an example of anti social behaviour as drink driving, not wearing a seatbelt and mugging, with hefty criminal penalties, we might make a start. I see more and more( i do it) people cleaning their own streets and if 30 million of us picked up 2 pieces of litter per day that would be 60 million a day or 420 million a week. Our actions in this way could dissuade the morons who drop litter from doing so and maybe, just maybe, the amounts dumped would disappear over time. I would add that the British are the dirty b******* of Europe in this regard in my opinion and we are not helped by a woeful lack of receptacles for litter and a failure to empty said receptacles on a daily or twice daily basis. Our streets are filthy. If we need to raise taxes then so be it provided it's hypothecated to cleaning up and not wasted on follies and I could name dozens.

A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.
 

steve2

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Like you I have said many times the only way to save this planet is to get rid of the human race. That day will come.
 

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I have worked with various angling clubs combating the effects of eutrophication over the past 4 or 5 years.

The following is a genuine conversation I had this last spring with the secretary of a mid sized angling club. Their website mentions ongoing problems with algae on one pool, meaning a loss of amenity, so on the back of this I decided to call the secretary direct and offer my services to help with the situation.

After a polite, brief introduction, I asked if he had a moment to discuss the algae problem. I then talked about why nutrient reduction is important for freshwater habitats and how I could help, and mentioned the clubs I'd previously worked for. I then talked about the simplicity of the remedial work required and went onto the dangers of eutrophication to be interrupted with "Oh we don't need eutrophication thanks" .. I was on the point of saying "YES, that's my ******g point" but instead, thanked him for his time and ended the call.

The cost of the analytical chemistry, nutrient status report and management plan would have been in the hundreds, certainly not thousands. The manual work required to rectify and improve the situation thereafter would been a few hours work, possibly 2 x 3man work parties a year. Thereafter that pool would have been back on the right track, with nutrient inputs reduced massively and far less likelihood of algae problems in future.

It dawned on me that one individual was 'in charge' of the well being of those waters, literally hundreds of thousands of pounds of assets, yet he didn't know his ar5e from his elbow where nutrient pollution, or fishery management was concerned. That's often been the case. That's not a dig, or a slight on his or anyone else's intelligence. Nutrient pollution and the effects of, is a bit niche, a bit nerdy even. Yet, as we are now seeing, the long term effects can be catastrophic.

We anglers sit in judgement, and rightly so, at those who continue to pollute. Yet, if we ask ourselves honestly, are the angling clubs (that's us) doing all they (we) can? The answer is a resounding NO in my experience.
 

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Most dont have a clue,the club mentìoned in a few of my posts asked the EA for gen on what they could do to help save our chalkstream,thing is nobody is telling them,nothing,unless we get the government onside...
 

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I read all this and just sometimes feel we are being overwhelmed by it all. However, we cannot just give up. Ultimately the system of Government is just failing us, the tired old left versus right, the rich verses the poor and so on. None of it will matter if we are all dying of pollution. Things like this just get forgotten about or put on the back burner while they bicker about not much at all. They have been having the same argument for the last 100+ years without either side winning the argument meanwhile we are just polluting the whole system and nothing much gets done.
These "green issues" have got to come to the forefront of Government thinking and it is only the Green Party is advocating that. They are the only ones that will tackle this head on, clubs, individuals, petitions, TV programs etc. etc. will not be able to do it, it has to be a complete change from the top. It means voting for them, get them in power and they are our last hope. I expect the greens to be vying for power within, I don't know, just a guess, 20-50 years but it will not be quick enough.
I expect to get this post banned but pollution, chicken waste, plastics, co2 its a long list is getting critical along with the survival and health of our rivers and fish, in the sea as well. The bickering parties are like Nero singing while Rome burns; we must stop them and save our rivers, seas and fish at the same time.
I am urging anyone who is serious and worried about this to consider getting the green party up the ladder because no end of debate on forums like this is not going to achieve anything.
 

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The EA are generally useless. A farmer , sadly dead, who owns a fishery lost all his silver fish to a pollution incident involving the run off from chicken shit after heavy rains. He knew a local farmer put chicken shit on his fields and did do before severe rains some weeks before. His fishery is fed from a water course adjacent to the farmers fertilised fields. The EA decided there was insufficient proof that the high levels of nitrites and nitrates emanated from the farmers fields and would not prosecute. My farmer friend had more pressing issues and did not pursue it but held the EA in very low esteem. It takes a while for ammonia to become nitrates and nitrites in sufficient levels to kill fish.
 

Bluenose

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Most dont have a clue,the club mentìoned in a few of my posts asked the EA for gen on what they could do to help save our chalkstream,thing is nobody is telling them,nothing,unless we get the government onside...
Water generates massive profits. Doing what we all know needs to be done, would eat into a large part of that profit. For that reason I don't think any government will be onside, not now, nor for the foreseeable future. Profit comes first. Shareholders come first. Legislation to protect the environment is, evidently, ineffectual.

There is no white knight on a trusty steed coming to rescue our river or freshwater systems anytime soon.
 

Bluenose

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....I am urging anyone who is serious and worried about this to consider getting the green party up the ladder because no end of debate on forums like this is not going to achieve anything.
I can't help but think that any, and all, political parties are of little use currently. They all serve their own agenda and the agendas of those that fund them.
 
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