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  #1  
Old 09-12-2016, 11:55 AM
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Default Help Save Welsh Rivers From Farm Pollution!!

You may or may not be aware that the Welsh Government is currently consulting on extending Nitrate Vulnerable Zones in Wales. Fishtec/Airflo are helping spread the news.

Full details here: http://blog.fishtec.co.uk/help-save-...farm-pollution

To help, all you need do is download a ready filled in word document from the Fishtec blog post, fill in the top with your details (individual or fishing club etc) and email it off to the Welsh government. Deadline to do this is 23rd December.

The more people/organisations such as fishing forum members that do this, the more chance of the law being changed so less slurry and farm waste gets into Welsh rivers.

Ultimately this will lead to better fishing for everyone who lives in or visits Wales.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 09-12-2016, 12:39 PM
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Default Re: Help Save Welsh Rivers From Farm Pollution!!

Ceri
Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Have seen the problem at first hand last winter with manure running off into a feeder stream to a prime fishng reservoir (which I reported to the EA) and increasing problems of algal blooms. - so we all need to support this initiative
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  #3  
Old 09-12-2016, 04:33 PM
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Default Re: Help Save Welsh Rivers From Farm Pollution!!

Well done organising this. Great work. I'll try and get a few people to respond.
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Old 09-12-2016, 04:39 PM
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Default Re: Help Save Welsh Rivers From Farm Pollution!!

I think this should also go in to the General Fly Fishing Forum too as it will get much more exposure
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Old 14-04-2017, 07:29 PM
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Default Re: Help Save Welsh Rivers From Farm Pollution!!

Just chatting to a friend who works for the EA in England, talking about cuts etc. They're losing a lot of good people through overstretching/overwork, and struggling to recruit replacements, but the one thing she was most concerned about was that ALL monitoring of Nitrate Vulnerable Zones had been cut. So in England there is zero monitoring going on. Zero! That, on top of other deep cuts, underfunding... not a pretty picture.

I wonder if the same thing has happened in Wales? Can anyone find out? The irony of extending the NVZ's without funding to monitor what is happening on the ground, beggars belief.

As a chilling aside, forget about the Water Framework Directive. Apparently it, along with other environmental protections, will be transferred into UK law, however there will not be any appetite or money to enforce it. So water quality will likely slowly slip, and we will be unable to do a thing about it.
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Old 14-04-2017, 11:13 PM
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Default Re: Help Save Welsh Rivers From Farm Pollution!!

I'd 'like' your post, Dunk, but I really don't.

Some thoughts:

I'm almost completely glass half empty on this problem, however, having seen how community groups can achieve substantial in-roads in environmental matters whether there is money there or not, I hang on to potential alternatives. The truth is there is always money out there, whatever the political weather, but not always the will amongst the hugely fragmented angling communities to mobilise (for want of a better word) to access it and use it for the greater good of our waterways. For every cerivthomas or Dunk I'm pretty certain there are at least fifty put and takers who couldn't give a rat's ass.

I had high hopes for Angling Trust and Fish Legal and of course they do ok but they could, in theory, do far more if they had the requisite resources. S&TC apparently have friends in high places but seem to spend the majority of their efforts against the aquaculture industry - a lot more 'S' than 'T' in many respects. I didn't find their recent film about Loch Maree's sea trout demise remotely effective but I'm sure it cost a few quid.

To try and keep this short, the most effective way apparent to me is local community activism which seeks to enlist a far wider subscription than the odd angler who uses the river. The Wandle Trust is the most famous example. They had a quite deliberate and beneficial divorce from the anglers who began their cause (who are now known, as I'm sure you know, as The Wandle Piscators). They did that because they knew it would mean that folks who find fishing a cruel passtime would be more likely to get involved. It paid off. They have a good relationship with EA. In a sense it was Cameron's Big Society in action.

Here, unfortunately, is where my optimism almost ends. I appreciate that success stories in this regard largely come from urban areas rather than the far less populated rural domains where nitrates are a serious issue and where local community activism is likely to attract a far smaller although perhaps proportionate number of activists. But, disproportionately, there is only so much a handful of volunteers can do compared to, say, a couple of hundred. Research, writing to the MP, leafleting to raise awareness, recruiting new volunteers, managing social media, asking a few folks on an obscure forum to sign a petition etc etc, takes masses of time. That may be straightforward if you've an army of volunteers (think Rivers Trusts who, erm, are largely funded for a little while longer by, erm, Europe) but if you're a little group concerned about your river in the nether regions of the Lakes then it may be somewhat more difficult to carry out all those necessary functions.

The Catchment Based Approach (CaBA) idea is a good one but I've yet to see it have any real influence across an entire catchment and I'd be very interested to hear of good examples. I've personally only witnessed quite poor strategies and elephant-in-the-room-avoiders which are issue-specific (eg migratory fish) rather than holistic (eg invasives). However the thinking is there if the will of the people isn't quite following it - and that's where the activists must try to make a difference. One: by realising and accepting they are local activists. Two: by going out there and educating and recruiting people, including the millions of fellow anglers who don't give a ****. Easier said than done, of course
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Last edited by ant77; 14-04-2017 at 11:18 PM.
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Old 15-04-2017, 01:46 AM
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Default Re: Help Save Welsh Rivers From Farm Pollution!!

While it is 'admirable' it is just another special interest group, this time of anglers, backed by an angling commercial interest, pretending to be conservationists.

Were we not anglers it would about as meaningful to us as 'small typhoon in Chile, nobody hurt'.

Believe it or not, I am not being 'snide', just honest. And realistic.

Last edited by john young; 15-04-2017 at 01:48 AM.
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Old 15-04-2017, 10:31 AM
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Default Re: Help Save Welsh Rivers From Farm Pollution!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by john young View Post
Were we not anglers it would about as meaningful to us as 'small typhoon in Chile, nobody hurt'.
I agree. Hence those interested in rivers, largely anglers, must try to reach out and educate others. Bug sampling is a great way to get kids and their parents involved as are 'trout in the classroom' projects which may spark a lifetime's interest and passion for biology and ecology in the long term for some. But how polluters such as some agri-businesses (for example - I'm not farmer bashing per se) are tackled in the face of ever-decreasing statutory enforcement is a much greater problem for the now.
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Old 15-04-2017, 02:28 PM
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Default Re: Help Save Welsh Rivers From Farm Pollution!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ant77 View Post
I agree. Hence those interested in rivers, largely anglers, must try to reach out and educate others. Bug sampling is a great way to get kids and their parents involved as are 'trout in the classroom' projects which may spark a lifetime's interest and passion for biology and ecology in the long term for some. But how polluters such as some agri-businesses (for example - I'm not farmer bashing per se) are tackled in the face of ever-decreasing statutory enforcement is a much greater problem for the now.
I'm just trying to put it in perspective.

Almost every day on here there is some 'anglers special interest group' banging on about something or another, usually salmon farming.

They are NOT conservationists, they represent ONLY their own 'hobby' interest. I'm not a supporter of farmers but these people will whinge along with everyone else if the cheap food runs out. We are PART of the problem, not separate from it.
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Old 16-04-2017, 05:17 PM
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Default Re: Help Save Welsh Rivers From Farm Pollution!!

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Originally Posted by john young View Post
I'm just trying to put it in perspective.

Almost every day on here there is some 'anglers special interest group' banging on about something or another, usually salmon farming.

They are NOT conservationists, they represent ONLY their own 'hobby' interest. I'm not a supporter of farmers but these people will whinge along with everyone else if the cheap food runs out. We are PART of the problem, not separate from it.
So, when half a million litres of slurry flood your area of the Test, you'll just shrug your shoulders and mutter a resigned, "Well . . . I am part of the problem," and walk away to investigate membership of the local Golf Club?
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