River Lugg

glueman

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 21, 2008
Messages
3,867
Location
on the banks of the A5
I
that would be immaterial... licences would still be required, impact assessment of works etc... i can’t for one minute believe that EA used language such as “the river bank needed sorting”...
certainly ripping out a section of riverbed and unleashing a torrent of sediment downstream, to flow through a SSSi and further downstream an SAC, during spawning are actions I doubt the EA had in mind
Used the word sorting but according to the article I read they said it needed grading and it was up to the landowner
 

boisker

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 15, 2011
Messages
2,804
Location
Devon
Indeed, the EA are usually risk averse and pedantic in my experience.

I don't mean that in a bad way necessarily, it's just the approach they generally take. They are usually very cautious putting the onus on the other party to demonstrate negligible risk. Impact assessments and risk assessments until the cows (excuse the pun) come home.

if it’s an EA project they carry out the relevant assessments, if it’s a project submitted to them then it’s the person wanting to do the work.... it’s not a ‘cautious‘ approach it’s the way the system works..
you propose works, it’s up to you to assess the impact

over the summer I was sorting out permissions for work on an estuary..
permissions / licences required from NE (protected sites), EA, MMO and planning permission... in each case the licence application had to have an assessment of any likely impacts... wildlife and infrastructure

if it was the other way around it would cost the tax payer a fortune
 

shropshire_lad

Well-known member
Joined
May 31, 2017
Messages
2,788
Location
Too far away from the wild places!
if it’s an EA project they carry out the relevant assessments, if it’s a project submitted to them then it’s the person wanting to do the work.... it’s not a ‘cautious‘ approach it’s the way the system works..
you propose works, it’s up to you to assess the impact

over the summer I was sorting out permissions for work on an estuary..
permissions / licences required from NE (protected sites), EA, MMO and planning permission... in each case the licence application had to have an assessment of any likely impacts... wildlife and infrastructure

if it was the other way around it would cost the tax payer a fortune
Absolutely, that's what I was saying but possibly in a rather clumsy way.
 

boisker

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 15, 2011
Messages
2,804
Location
Devon
Absolutely, that's what I was saying but possibly in a rather clumsy way.

in a ’project’ like this where the technical nature of the works is low, NE would be the more important, EA would require NE to sign off the works due to the SSSI considerations... it’s hard to foresee any circumstances in which NE would Licence works of this type and scale.... the only scenario they would is if it was connected to national or extremely significant infrastructure..... even if works were needed for flood protection again it’s hard to see how NE would have licenced destruction of habitat on this scale, they wouldn’t allow in-stream works, protection would not be in or immediately adjoining the watercourse
 

JayP

Well-known member
Joined
May 17, 2006
Messages
3,394
Location
St Neots, Cambs
JayP you can't read the article unless you subscribe to the paper
Winding its way through the peaceful Herefordshire countryside, the Lugg is reputed to be one of the prettiest waterways in the land.

So when a farmer employed a 16-ton bulldozer to dredge the river bed and strip a mile-long stretch of the bank of trees and bushes, there was widespread dismay and disgust.

John Price, a local potato and cattle farmer, was accused of committing vandalism on a grand scale, as the Environment Agency announced it had launched an urgent investigation.

But on Friday night the 66-year-old, who lives next to the river on a farm in Kingsland, near Leominster, said he had acted to protect locals in the nearby hamlet whose homes were devastated in last year's floods.

Villagers said they had pleaded with the Environment Agency to clear the blocked river, but their appeals fell on deaf ears and Mr Price had acted out of a sense of community spirit.
On Friday night, Mr Price admitted bulldozing and cutting trees down but claimed he acted with permission.

He said he had been asked to carry out the work for free as he was fixing the erosion of the river bed and was helping solve issues caused by last year's floods.

He said: "I'm a Herefordshire farmer and have lived at Day Farm and was born here at home. I have never moved and have watched this river all my life and no one knows this river better than myself. I have always looked after the river. I was asked to stop the erosion because I'm the land owner so I'm responsible for the river.

"It was up to the Environmental Agency to look after these rivers but they don't do any work and haven't got any money to do the work because they spend it all on clipboards."

He added: "I have not pushed any trees out and I haven't knocked any trees down I have only cleared what ones came down in the flood.

Mr
Price went on: "The flooding has been getting substantially worse over the last 10 years and will continue to get worse if a certain amount of work is not done like I have been allowed to do by the Environment Agency.

"I have got the support of the village and parish council and they had a meeting especially about the work being done. They all said what a wonderful job John Price has done and recommended that they send me a letter thanking me for that work and saving the river and helping the flooding."

The Environment Agency said it was taking the matter "very seriously" and had launched an urgent investigation.

The local wildlife trust said the actions would devastate animal life along the river, including otters, kingfishers, salmon and trout.

Residents of the area leapt to Mr Price's defence and said they had been appealing to the Environment Agency and council for years to tackle blockages in the waterway, but had been ignored.

Kelly Flook, 40, who lives in one of the houses flooded during Storm Dennis last year, said Mr Price acted because their pleas had been repeatedly ignored.

She told The Daily Telegraph: "I have spent the past 10 months living in a mobile home on my parents' driveway with my children because our home was flooded in Storm Dennis. I have spent a fortune rebuilding our home and we are still not back in it yet. All the locals have been petitioning to have the river cleared but we have been ignored."

She added: "John has acted in the best interests of the local community."

On Friday, 14 officials from agencies including the Environment Agency, the Forestry Commission, West Mercia Police and Herefordshire Council descended on the scene.

Dave Throup, the Environment Agency area manager, said: "We are aware of reports of damage to the River Lugg, which due to its environmental importance is protected through Site of Special Scientific Interest status.

"We are treating this very seriously along with Natural England and the Forestry Commission who have taken immediate action in an attempt to prevent any further works at the site."

Helen Stace, of the Herefordshire Wildlife Trust, said: "This is nothing short of a tragedy that will have dire consequences for the wildlife and water quality downstream. This is not about protecting the local area from floods, in my opinion the work that has been done will actually have the opposite effect
 
Last edited:

boisker

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 15, 2011
Messages
2,804
Location
Devon
Winding its way through the peaceful Herefordshire countryside, the Lugg is reputed to be one of the prettiest waterways in the land.

So when a farmer employed a 16-ton bulldozer to dredge the river bed and strip a mile-long stretch of the bank of trees and bushes, there was widespread dismay and disgust.

John Price, a local potato and cattle farmer, was accused of committing vandalism on a grand scale, as the Environment Agency announced it had launched an urgent investigation.

But on Friday night the 66-year-old, who lives next to the river on a farm in Kingsland, near Leominster, said he had acted to protect locals in the nearby hamlet whose homes were devastated in last year's floods.

Villagers said they had pleaded with the Environment Agency to clear the blocked river, but their appeals fell on deaf ears and Mr Price had acted out of a sense of community spirit.
On Friday night, Mr Price admitted bulldozing and cutting trees down but claimed he acted with permission.

He said he had been asked to carry out the work for free as he was fixing the erosion of the river bed and was helping solve issues caused by last year's floods.

He said: "I'm a Herefordshire farmer and have lived at Day Farm and was born here at home. I have never moved and have watched this river all my life and no one knows this river better than myself. I have always looked after the river. I was asked to stop the erosion because I'm the land owner so I'm responsible for the river.

"It was up to the Environmental Agency to look after these rivers but they don't do any work and haven't got any money to do the work because they spend it all on clipboards."

He added: "I have not pushed any trees out and I haven't knocked any trees down I have only cleared what ones came down in the flood.

i wouldn’t expect any other line... he may well have had the support of the local village, if he has the licences in place i would have thought he would have quoted the licence number as that would kill all discussion.
 

shropshire_lad

Well-known member
Joined
May 31, 2017
Messages
2,788
Location
Too far away from the wild places!
It's obviously a bit of a complicated story. However, just because a farmer has lived there all his life does not mean he "knows" the river. The "erosion" sits at odds with the "clearing". Also, all this stuff about having the river "cleared" to alleviate flooding. Rivers flood, unfortunately, with our human activity probably increasing it. Rivers are best left in their natural state with flood plains, etc, affording natural protection.
 

Jason 70

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
337
Location
The congested SE
We had a similar issue a few years back on one of my club tickets.



Ignore the comments posted below the video, it was not the EA but the landowner. We as a club did not get to speak to him, as everything went via a managing agent. Our local EA guy was shocked, as we all were. It's a flood plain, no houses were, or will ever be built along here and in the winter it's often underwater. To this day we still have not had an explanation as to why this "work" was undertaken.

If its any solace, it did grow back. But at the time as you can see it was awful. It really pissed me off and serving on the club committee at the time I could not offer an explanation to our members as to why it happened. It just seems so bloody needless .
 

JayP

Well-known member
Joined
May 17, 2006
Messages
3,394
Location
St Neots, Cambs
We had a similar issue a few years back on one of my club tickets.



Ignore the comments posted below the video, it was not the EA but the landowner. We as a club did not get to speak to him, as everything went via a managing agent. Our local EA guy was shocked, as we all were. It's a flood plain, no houses were, or will ever be built along here and in the winter it's often underwater. To this day we still have not had an explanation as to why this "work" was undertaken.

If its any solace, it did grow back. But at the time as you can see it was awful. It really pissed me off and serving on the club committee at the time I could not offer an explanation to our members as to why it happened. It just seems so bloody needless .
Is that the stretch downstream of Cobham?
 

mrnotherone

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 19, 2013
Messages
3,984
Location
Monmouthshire
So, people who live in houses that flood want something done (understandable)
Farmer who knows nothing about flood defences but thinks he does, trashes river (stupid)
Local people back the farmer (so what)
Farmer get's massive fine (hope so)

Moral? Don't build houses in places that flood and then screw the environment when it doesn't suit you.

The landowner clearly doesn't give a **** about his environmental obligations. Book him Danno...
 

JayP

Well-known member
Joined
May 17, 2006
Messages
3,394
Location
St Neots, Cambs
So, people who live in houses that flood want something done (understandable)
Farmer who knows nothing about flood defences but thinks he does, trashes river (stupid)
Local people back the farmer (so what)
Farmer get's massive fine (hope so)

Moral? Don't build houses in places that flood and then screw the environment when it doesn't suit you.

The landowner clearly doesn't give a **** about his environmental obligations. Book him Danno...
I bet the locals go AWOL when the fine fund can comes rattling
 

shropshire_lad

Well-known member
Joined
May 31, 2017
Messages
2,788
Location
Too far away from the wild places!
So, people who live in houses that flood want something done (understandable)
Farmer who knows nothing about flood defences but thinks he does, trashes river (stupid)
Local people back the farmer (so what)
Farmer get's massive fine (hope so)

Moral? Don't build houses in places that flood and then screw the environment when it doesn't suit you.

The landowner clearly doesn't give a **** about his environmental obligations. Book him Danno...
Plus the flooding may well be worse next time as I can't see, from the limited information available, how that destruction will have any beneficial effect at all.
 

micka

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2010
Messages
1,002
Plus the flooding may well be worse next time as I can't see, from the limited information available, how that destruction will have any beneficial effect at all.
I'll join the ranks of those who are appalled at this wanton act of destruction on an SSSI area. This farmer and those locals who supported his action see things from the perspective of the river course as it passes their houses. But his improvised and vandalistic works may simply be passing the flooding problem further down the river's course to the detriment of other residents and farmers.

It reminded me of a situation on the River Lune some years back, where one club who owned the water wanted to improve it's salmon holding potential and carried out quite significant works (adding large boulders, bank adjustment etc.) only to have a detrimental effect on the pools below owned by another club, who were justifiably up in arms.

Whatever we may think of the EA, and I've been one of their biggest critics, at least they have a wider perspective on a river's course.

Mick

As an addendum, whatever our stance on Brexit, if the UK does pursue an agricultural policy where farming grants are linked tangibly to farmers having to adapt their practices the wider benefit of the environment, then that will be much better than the old CAP which did the health of our rivers and anglers no favours. Despite other laudable EU directives trying to promote water quality.
 
Last edited:

JayP

Well-known member
Joined
May 17, 2006
Messages
3,394
Location
St Neots, Cambs
You can see before and after with satellite imagery at https://eos.com/

Not the clearest pictures from yesterday but clearly the farmer stating "I have not pushed any trees out and I haven't knocked any trees down I have only cleared what ones came down in the flood." is just BS
 

glueman

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 21, 2008
Messages
3,867
Location
on the banks of the A5
A river I fish is an sssi and has a lot of weird put in over 100 years ago before sssi had been heard of. The EA wants the land owner to remove them,he won't as they have been there so long and are part of the river
 

spudgun

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 15, 2016
Messages
419
Just seen this on a news feed this morning


Very sad story about the river Lugg, unfortunately I can only make an opinion from what I have seen, I have had little interaction with the EA or councils and I'm very nieve in river matters. I just see an environmental disaster that's going to take years to to return to normal.

Sent from my FIG-LX1 using Tapatalk
 

bonefishblues

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 7, 2013
Messages
3,128
Location
Near Bicester, Oxon
Does anyone know whether within the range of powers available v-a-v this 'work', there is the ability to make an order for the farmer to restore the habitat (as there is in general planning legislation, for instance)?
 
Top