Devastating Pollution on the River Crane and Formation of the Thames Tunnel Now coalition
Devastating Pollution on the River Crane
Last weekend there was a devastating pollution incident which appears to have killed most of the fish in about 10km of the River Crane in West London. This is particularly tragic because the river has been steadily restored by volunteers from a range of organisations over the past 20 years. Volunteers from the Thames Anglers Conservancy (TAC), who are very active members of the Trust, were on site as soon as they heard the news and have been investigating the causes and impacts of this incident, which raises a lot of questions. Until we have answers to those questions, we will reserve comment.
I will be attending a meeting today with Thames Water, along with the TAC, the Friends of the River Crane Environment (FORCE) and the London Wildlife Trust to discuss what happened and the process for deciding how to make a payment to a suitable organisation to restore the river. The ACA (now Fish Legal, the Trust's legal arm) negotiated a settlement of £500,000 when the Wandle was polluted in 2008. This money is still being used by the Wandle Trust and others to improve the habitat and fishing on the Wandle. Thames Water have given early indications that a similar settlement will be forthcoming for this incident and so we hope to negotiate a similar arrangement for the Crane. We understand that the fishing on the river is largely free public access, but if any member clubs have any fishing rights on the river then we would ask that you contact me immediately. Please call the Angling Trust office on 01568 620447 for my mobile number.
Formation of the Thames Tunnel Now coalition
It is a cruel irony that this should happen in the week when we are campaigning vigorously for the implementation of the Thames Tunnel to tackle sewage spills on the tidal Thames just a few miles away from the Crane. Last week we led the creation of a Thames Tunnel Now coalition which has challenged the small group who are opposing construction of this 21st century solution to the recurrent problem of sewage overflows into the tideway. I joined a photocall in London this morning, in front of the statue of Joseph Bazalgette who built the sewage system in 1865 which has lasted until now, and then I spoke in support of the Tunnel at a Thames Water event yesterday evening attended by MPs, councillors and amenity groups from throughout London. The Government has now stated its support for the scheme in a formal statement; which Richard Benyon, the Environment & Fisheries Minister) confirmed to me at a meeting of the Standing Conference of Countryside Sports during the day.
We will keep you informed of progress.
It's a powerful reminder of the need for clubs and fisheries to be members of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal in case disaster strikes; if your waters are polluted we can represent your interests. Please contact the office if your club would like to join or upgrade its membership.
Thanks for your support.
Best wishes from all of us at the Angling Trust & Fish Legal,
Picture Credit: Fish Kill photos from the Thames Anglers Conservancy website HERE.
Notes to Editors:
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