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Mass bankside tree removal by farmers?

Neil Blood

Senior Member
This evening I witnessed a farmer carrying out mass mature willow removal on my local River Dane. Not only his he ripping the trees out, he’s burning them too. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, its both fish habitat destruction and its right in the middle of the bird breeding season 😡

I also don’t believe that he‘s finished either, with more mature willows to be removed, further upstream? I’m intending to take this up with the E.A tomorrow morning, but in order to first get my ducks in a row, can anyone confirm if he needs to consult with the E.A before undertaking work on this scale? I know at the very least he will need a felling license from the Forestry Commission.
 

Graham Elliott

Senior Member
They did this on one bank of the Kennet years ago..when I inquired I heard they were to be used for cricket bats?
Not sure?
 

Rhys Perry

Senior Member
On a smaller scale maybe but saw the same opposite our Isle stretch today Neil.
Not the best picture but that whole bank has been stripped.
20200517_123826_HDR.jpg
 

Richard Isaacs

Senior Member
Boils my blood.😡😡😡
What harm do they cause sitting nicely over a river providing sanctuary for many wild life species.
Sure we may curse them occasionally when they swipe the odd float we’ve but ffs they’ve sat there for the last 50-100 years causing no problems so why take em down.
@Neil Blood i wish you every success in getting them to stop 👍🏻
 

Terry Harman

Senior Member
Lee valley parks done the same to fishers green... they should all be horse whipped and have salt poured in the wound
 

Brian Willson

Senior Member
Hi Graham,
I can remember the devastation that was caused on the Kennet when the Willows were cut down, how many great swims were wiped out especially up by the old concrete pill box, my favourite swims decimated.
I hope you are well mate, just a few weeks left before ( hopefully ) the rivers open up again, mind you we could do with some rain, the river here at Throop could do with a touch.
Good luck.
Brian.
 

Terry Simner

Senior Member
I thought EA's 'new idea' was to leave the trees in place, in and out of our rivers, to slow the flood waters down ... and to actually plant more bank-side trees to slow winter surfeits' progress?
 

Lawrence Breakspear

Senior Member
From information I have gained gained from insiders of the EA and Angling Trust, tree removal is more to do with the solids in raw sewage, bankside trees can be a problem with the solids that the raw sewage can contain these days such as Condoms, tampons, sanitary towels, panty and nappy liners, the EA do not want these items blowing in the wind once a river recedes, remember water companies can release raw sewage when a river is in flood. But, he comes the stupidity of it all, farmers are not only paid to cut down these riverside trees we know and love, for the reasons outlined, they are also paid again to replant trees on other parts of their land as to keep numbers of trees at the same level or higher....bonkers or what?

Its like the old days of the NRA of the 1990's where the chain-saw gangs decimated stretches of the river Teme in the name of flood defence, very soon after that and since, stretches suffer the worst floods in living memory...
 

Alex Dalton

Senior Member
Stuffed the Dearne up a few years ago , water authority , sub contractors hacked to pieces many of the trees and got in the water to further butcher the fawner and flora , one swim used to have some great perch, chub etc due to a large hawthorne that sat in the middle of a pool, now no more . A lot has finally grown back to some degree, has took a few years, till the next bout of hacking.
 

Joe Winstanley

Senior Member
There is no statutory requirement for a landowner to consult the EA regarding riparian tree removal.

If the proposed felling work exceeds more than 5m3 a calendar quarter then a felling licence will be required - I find it unlikely that the Forestry Commision will have consented to felling right during the peak of breeding birding season.

Neil - worth just having a look at the back end of last seasons Warks Avon reports.
 
The EA did this on a couple of my local fen rivers quite a few years ago, as they were weakening the banks. Took every tree out along miles of river banks
 

Richard Isaacs

Senior Member
Lee valley parks done the same to fishers green... they should all be horse whipped and have salt poured in the wound
I remember that now was about 18month or more ago they started that.
I was down there having my usual fishers green twitchless session when they started cutting the opposite side banks away.
Barstewards weren’t just ripping trees and bushes out, they were making parts of the river wider.
They did make a swim for disabled access but bollox that’s not an excuse to pull the place apart even more.
I was just about to get a really good Barbel bite as well🤣🤣 Before they started making all that noise.........Honest.
 

Terry Harman

Senior Member
I hear they have stripped out kings weir as well in the last few months
 

Richard Isaacs

Senior Member
What did they do to that then.
Kings weir was fishing ok for big barbel last time I was there which was about the same time 18-24 m ago
 
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Chris Jones

Senior Member
You may actually find that it's EA sanctioned and possibly even paid for by them. Flood defence strategies seem to have changed again in the last few years. I know of stretches of bankside willows that were planted under the auspices of the old NRA that have been removed or thinned out with EA encouragement. I also know of a floodbank that was washed away this winter. As yet, the EA is refusing to allow the landowner to rebuild it in the name of flood prevention in downstream urban areas. The fact that the river now threatens two or three large livestock fields and several gravel pits, one of which is an established fishery, doesn't seem to matter at all.
 

Terry Harman

Senior Member
What did they do to that then.
Kings weir was fishing ok for big barbel last time I was there which was about the same time 18-24 m ago
To be fair there were a few trees that were unsafe on the members stretch but speaking to ray Kent they have properly stripped it I’m not going to renew this year I’ve had my fill of chasing shadows .., but it has been good to me ..my pb is from there
 

Richard Isaacs

Senior Member
I’m not joining it anymore either but the day ticket kings weir was Always ok for a lump if you got in one of the better spots.
Fishers green down from the weir had some huge fish but very few of them came out.
I did 2 in a whole season, both big early march fish 2 days apart same swim.
Don’t get me wrong I love a challenge but ultimately we do go for a reason.
That season bashed my confidence so hard it didn’t matter what had been achieved prior to that on other rivers I literally stripped back and criticised everything from rigs, bait, location knowledge.
Fair play and respect to the anglers that do put in the time there and catch a few.
 

Terry Harman

Senior Member
I had very similar experience at kings weir the bigger fish all out in March all from the same two swims you can book day tickets on the weir and the odd big fish will come out but fishing the members is a slog ... I only fished it 4-5 times this season caught nothing.. saw nothing my best season was year before fishing 3 afternoon/evenings a week for 4 fish .. a 12 ...13....and a pair of 7,s in the same session after a summer storm...... I could fish fishers green on the veralum ticket and in the last couple of days have joined Scunthorpe and Worksop for they’re stretches on the trent
 

Ady Brayshaw

Senior Member
In the late 90's, I came across a squad on one of my favourite rivers, of what were most probably NRA (not EA) employees. I was passing in my boat at the time, so went to the bank to enquire what was going on. It transpired that the 'squad' had been told to take all the trees down by a new graduate employee, for no other reason, than giving them something to do! The butchering was in fish holding swims. They were destroyed as fish holding swims, and in all that time, they have never been the same since. I am not aware of sewage farms being further up stream and it's a source of water for the area.

Recently, similar work (although less extreme) is occasionally carried out by 'environmental groups' with EA permission. Generally those with bird related interests but not for fish! At times it seems that consideration does not seem to being given to the piscine environment.
 
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