Passion For… Clean Rivers

Molehill

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I would think the starting point on the Wye, for instance, would be to bring ALL the water users together, canoes, swimmers, boarders and especially all the businesses (include riverside accommodation, campsites, caravans). Under a single umbrella they may have some weight to lobby for action, most would need educating about the problems for starters.
Remember surfers against sewage? They seemed to hit headlines quite a bit and their website shows plenty of ongoing action for the benefit of everyone that uses the sea and beaches https://www.sas.org.uk/ perhaps a freshwater equivalent pressure organisation to clean up our rivers that dump all the c***into their oceans?
 

mikench

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You are right Mark some of us do.😉 Unfortunately they are not basted in butter Stuffed at both ends and cooked in an oven for several hours.😀🦃
 

markg

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I would think the starting point on the Wye, for instance, would be to bring ALL the water users together, canoes, swimmers, boarders and especially all the businesses (include riverside accommodation, campsites, caravans). Under a single umbrella they may have some weight to lobby for action, most would need educating about the problems for starters.
Remember surfers against sewage? They seemed to hit headlines quite a bit and their website shows plenty of ongoing action for the benefit of everyone that uses the sea and beaches https://www.sas.org.uk/ perhaps a freshwater equivalent pressure organisation to clean up our rivers that dump all the c***into their oceans?
That would take too long, has the Wye got the time to spare! These things hit the headlines now and then, then everyone says something must be done for a few weeks until other news takes over the headlines and then everyone forgets about it; this thread will be forgotten in a couple of weeks, it will just all be hot air and good intent but nothing will get done. I don't hold much hope for the Wye on this issue, wish I could say I do but what is going to happen, not much is my guess. A few individuals and small groups will make a valiant stand but without the influence from the very top, it will either be too slow or too little or both.
 

John Bailey

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Passion For... Clean Rivers

In reply to some of the comments, do we have to accept that NRW and the EA will work with glacial slowness over the question of phosphate pollution in the Wye – not that that should mean a relaxation in our efforts to prod them into action? Do we have to realise that so much money has been invested already in chicken units in the Wye catchment that closing these down will be a non-starter? Perhaps we have to explore different ways of disposing with the excreta produced, and aim to prohibit the spreading of it on land anywhere from which it can leach into the river or the streams that feed it? More expensive, probably yes, but surely a compromise that sane parties can agree upon? Am I crazy or am I missing some big issues here? If not, how can this partial solution be achieved, and quickly?
 

Molehill

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We shall see how this pans out here in Wales (which includes much of the Wye), but it went down like the proverbial lead balloon with some of the farming community. I hasten to add that I do not see farming as all bad, but rather in need of better practice for certain parts of it.
No idea if these good intentions will turn out to be words without teeth or the start of improvement, only time will tell.

"Today, I announce my decision to introduce regulations, which apply to the whole of Wales, to address the significant and ongoing effect of agricultural pollution on the health and quality of our rivers, lakes and streams.

Clean water is essential for life in Wales, for drinking, the health of our population, for food production and our natural environment. Too many rivers are currently polluted by agricultural activities from acute incidents of point source discharges to water and the cumulative effect of diffuse pollution. As a result, we fail to meet public expectation and our environmental standards. The number of agricultural pollution incidents remains far too high, averaging over 3 per week in the last 3 years demonstrating no long-term downward trend. We need to do better and raise the quality of our water courses across Wales by preventing incidents like these and managing wider diffuse pollution risks.

The Regulations I am introducing set a clear and consistent baseline, ensuring all farmers understand what actions they need to take to join those who are already protecting our rich environment and managing manures as a valuable source of nutrients rather than a waste product. The measures are proportionate to the risks of pollution from agricultural practices; some farmers will see a minimal impact whilst others will need time and support to improve.

The baseline standards established by these Regulations are not excessive. They establish standards of production in Wales comparable to those which apply in the rest of the UK and Europe. Formalising good practice standards in this way is not only important to protect our environment and well-being, it is critical to Welsh businesses maintaining European markets and accessing those further afield. These Regulations ensure our regulatory baseline is set at the appropriate level, in accordance with principles of the EU Trade and Cooperation agreement, to avoid future tariffs on exports to the EU, the equivalent of a no-deal scenario for Welsh agriculture.

Whilst these regulations have been developed primarily to prevent the unacceptable pollution of watercourses, other environmental considerations have been taken into account. The implementation of the regulations will see nutrients used more efficiently on farms, resulting in lower losses of ammonia to the atmosphere. The regulations are a key part of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture to improve air quality and the whole Wales approach reflects the advice from the UK Climate Change Committee in their report “Land Use: Policies for a net zero UK”.

This decision has been taken following a lengthy period of consideration and engagement. I have given the industry every opportunity to demonstrate a change in behaviours through voluntary action. Some progress has been made over the last 4 years but not enough to demonstrate the scale, rate and commitment to change needed.

Before making a decision, I wanted to ensure the industry is in a position to be able to implement any new regulations. There remains uncertainty from the impacts of the Covid 19 pandemic on our agri food supply chain, but market price for agriculture produce remains buoyant and the introduction of the EU UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement removes the threat of export tariffs. I have included transitional periods within the regulations to reduce the immediate requirements on the industry. This will enable farmers to meet the initial good practice requirements which will be introduced from 1 April 2021 and provide sufficient time for planning and preparing for the additional requirements.

It will be necessary for some farms to invest in improvements in their infrastructure. Many farmers have already taken the opportunity to improve their nutriment management, to continue to maintain their high performance and market position, often with financial assistance from the Welsh Government. Up to September 2020 we provided £22m through the Sustainable Production Grant scheme to support infrastructure investments with over 500 applicants invited to submit full applications. For 2021, an additional £1.5 million has been made available to help farmers improve water quality and £11.5m of capital funding will be used to directly support farm businesses to improve on farm nutrient management infrastructure.

The introduction of the regulations will be supported by appropriate guidance and an effective knowledge transfer programme. Farming Connect have already held over 400 related events including soils and farm infrastructure clinics, priority catchment area meetings, Sustainable Farming and Farming for the Future events with close to 13,000 farmers in attendance.

This action on agricultural pollution is part of a suite of measures to improve water quality across Wales. I made £4.5m available in 2020/21 to tackle pollution from mine water sources, which is another major source of water pollution in Wales.

I recognise the farming industry has long advocated its own approach to nutrient management, including greater flexibility of farm practice in response to the environmental conditions. The regulation includes an opportunity for the industry to demonstrate how they might achieve this working within the framework of the regulations to deliver better outcomes in respect of water quality and atmospheric emissions. Any proposals considered by Welsh Ministers would need to meet the national minimum standard set out and maintained by this legislation.

Agricultural pollution has affected waterbodies across Wales for far too long and I am determined to act to protect the Welsh countryside for our future. This legislation, together with appropriate guidance, support and enforcement will make a step change in the quality of our Welsh environment and the sustainability of our agricultural industry. "
 

markg

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If I have read that correctly, all these good practice, legislation and funds were introduced from April 1st; why has it not had an impact on the chicken farmers?
 
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mikench

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The polluter pays was always the mantra. But not farmers and not in Wales it seems!


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markg

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I have emailed the Green Party to see if they know anything about it; they are our natural allies in these things and after-all they do have some representation in Parliament albeit only two seats, but that is better then nothing, who else is there!! and they are bigger in Wales I believe.
I don't know why no one ever thinks of them, missing a trick I think. They have got to be the biggest voice in anti pollution in the country.
 
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Bluenose

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Passion For... Clean Rivers

In reply to some of the comments, do we have to accept that NRW and the EA will work with glacial slowness over the question of phosphate pollution in the Wye – not that that should mean a relaxation in our efforts to prod them into action? Do we have to realise that so much money has been invested already in chicken units in the Wye catchment that closing these down will be a non-starter? Perhaps we have to explore different ways of disposing with the excreta produced, and aim to prohibit the spreading of it on land anywhere from which it can leach into the river or the streams that feed it? More expensive, probably yes, but surely a compromise that sane parties can agree upon? Am I crazy or am I missing some big issues here? If not, how can this partial solution be achieved, and quickly?
There are reasonably easy measures that all clubs can do to reduce nutrient ingress. However, there was legislation proposed a few years back with regards nitrate buffer zones. Can't recall if phosphate buffer zones became a thing too, but the proposals were made which were designed to reduce eutrophication. The EA are currently recruiting 40 people to monitor phosphate levels on farms, closing date is 4th August.

This govt, and every govt, for the last 40 yrs have had ample opportunity to educate, legislate and thus prevent the ongoing daily pollution we are witnessing. Sadly, the wholescale political and legal will is not there to implement what needs to be done.
 
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markg

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This govt, and every govt, for the last 40 yrs have had ample opportunity to educate, legislate and thus prevent the ongoing daily pollution we are witnessing. Sadly, the wholescale political and legal will is not there to implement what needs to be done.

Only in the Green Party, that is exactly what they are about, the wholescale political and legal will IS there to implement what needs to be done in bucket loads. I know I should button it but it just astounds me that no one can see it. If we keep voting for what causes it then we carry on getting it, parties that put individual wealth, economy, consumerism etc. etc. above all else including pollution and clean rivers then we are not going to get clean rivers.
It can only come politically, it will not come from any measures suggested here, I don't think it can, they will just never get enough backing to gain the impetus needed. This has got to be shaken at the top.
The green party propose to make every company submit a list of all there usage of dangerous chemicals or dangerous by products and set them targets of reducing them inclemently or deal with them in an environmental way face heavy fines. Isn't that the answer! This is just one of a whole range measures and they will back it all up with real teeth and intent, not just idle rhetoric. All we do is snap at the heels of it, all that we have ever done because that is all we can do and the problem just grows, the head needs cutting off.
This is your thread John Bailey, what do you think? Have you ever considered voting for what you passionately want or anyone else come to that.
 
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bullet

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This is what they say, they are not banning it just discouraging it, I can live with that-
The Greens manifesto states: "The Green Party is opposed to angling as a bloodsport. ... The Green Party will ban the use of all lead shot/weights used by anglers that are harmful to many forms of nature. The party will promote the voluntary cessation of angling through public education programmes."
No Thanks, that sends shivers down my spine.
I'd rather fish in polluted water with no fish than be stoned and flogged by the "Educated Public "
Sounds like they're getting ideas from the Chinese Government.
 

markg

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No Thanks, that sends shivers down my spine.
I'd rather fish in polluted water with no fish than be stoned and flogged by the "Educated Public "
Sounds like they're getting ideas from the Chinese Government.
You would rather fish in polluted water with no fish, really! This is vastly over exaggerated. There might be a few mutters around but there are anyway and I doubt much stoning and flogging by the public would be allowed. The fact is they don't want to ban fishing, just try and make sure whatever we do we put the environment first and not last like every Government, Business, Company , Consumer has for the last 200 years, that includes everything from making cars, making money, riding horses, fishing whatever and do it in an economy sustainable way I might add.. The bonus for us is we will get the clean rivers, plastic free/polluted free fish and sea we all passionately desire. Because, I cannot see any other way it will happen, no one else will or can do it on their own, no one is big enough to change things including anglers no matter how many of them there are, we need someone to do it for us and there is only one obvious candidate. It might stick in the claw a bit but what's more important and needs must. I am not that keen myself but I recognize now where the change must (imperatively) and most likely come from.
 
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Bluenose

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The Greens aren't exactly friendly to angling. That's a fact. As an angler I would never vote for them on that basis. I reckon the vast majority of anglers feel the same way. They can have all the policies they want, because for the foreseeable future, their policies won't be tested, as they won't get into power. Only when, and if, proportional representation becomes a thing, will they have more of a sway.

There is no wholescale political or legal will. That's also a fact. If there was, serial polluters would be jailed today and we wouldn't have raw sh1*e being pumped into seas and rivers, today. We anglers live in an echo chamber, we all hate polluters and pollution and all agree that serial offenders should be strung up by the conkers. Sadly, Joe Public, by and large doesn't give a toss.

Angling clubs should not look to the false promises of Labour, the tories, the Greens, The EA, or indeed any political party or organisation, even dare I say, the AT. First they must do what they can to reduce pollution and mitigate the effects of eutrophication on their own waters. This can be done relatively easily. It doesn't need a an empty shell wearing a suit in Westminster to lead the way. Clubs can do this, on their own, today.
 

mikench

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No political party is going to make inroads if they are a one trick pony so they have to have a manifesto of sorts. The inclusion within that of their views on angling will not get them many votes from anybody who fishes, shoots or hunts. Educate the public on dropping litter, fly tipping, polluting generally and abiding by our laws. If they think that can be done by TV programmes they truly are green. It sounds like what the Comminist Party in China or the Taliban might say and it fails to resonate with me. They need to ditch the wacky and concentrate on the main issues.

Polluters show pay heavily for their crimes.
 

Peter Jacobs

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Ideologically there is a lot to be said for voting for the Green Party, however, in the modern world there are so many other topics that ar of equal of greater importance, as without a sound economy you cannot afford many of the envorinmental aspiraions of the Greens.

A Party with a well rounded manifesto that includes Environmental matters will, undoubtedly, gain votes . . . . Personally speaking, and having read the Green manifeso in detail, they won't be getting my vote unless they change their views on one important matter.
 

mikench

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And mine! That one statement is ample demonstration that they are unfit to rule even if their chances are as good as mine in at catching a 4lb roach, Rudd, crucian and perch within my lifetime. Eccentrics the lot of them.
 
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