Angling Trust Stops Diggers in their Tracks

Angling Trust Stops Diggers in their Tracks

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Local anglers ask Angling Trust for help in saving bankside vegetation on the River Loddon.

On Tuesday 9th March, the Angling Trust was contacted by concerned anglers on the River Loddon, a Thames tributary, who noticed that contractors for the EA were cutting down trees on the banks of the river as part of a programme of flood defence works. By Thursday 11th, the work had been stopped. The cover provided by bankside vegetation is vital habitat for fish, giving them cover from predation and spawning opportunities.

On Wednesday the Angling Trust contacted the EA pointing out the impact of this work on the aquatic environment and its potential consequences for delivery of the Water Framework Directive. The angling body requested that the work stop immediately to allow time for a re-assessment. Mark Owen (Angling Trust’s Environmental Campaigns Manager) had visited the Loddon the previous week at the request of the Loddon Consultative. Mark has made recommendations for ways in which flood alleviation could be achieved by more natural means and these will be passed to the Environment Agency.

The AT was contacted by the EA on Thursday to be informed that all such work would stop on the Loddon with immediate effect so that further assessments could be carried out.

Mark Owen said “I am delighted that the EA has allowed a reprieve for the Loddon so that we may work together to devise solutions that address flood risk concerns but also allow natural processes to work for the benefit of all.”

Ian Crook, a spokesman for the Loddon Consultative (a local angling group) said “I am delighted that the AT had achieved this for the Loddon; it is a relief for all that fish on this magnificent river that the EA have listened to us and I look forward to a positive outcome”.