Despite me really thinking that I wouldn't come up with anything worth saying sometimes you just have to change your mind. The sometimes this time was that Mr Whitehouse stimulating and somewhat depressing two programmes about the state of the countries water ways , this was combined with a thread on a fishing forum on how fishing had helped quite a few of the people on there with their sanity and depression. My own fishing journey started when as a boy I saw my dad fishing , the long journey took of from there. But in the years just before teenage and through teens my life went of the rails somewhat , I was sent to a boarding school for kids who were challenging . It was not an easy place to be such places in the 1960s and 70s were challenging. I have no doubt that been able to fish in the ponds lakes and local small rivers were a godsend that helped me a great deal. the fishing was free and the river , a small tributary of the swale was a clear stream full of shoals of chub and streamer weed . To my young eyes it was paradise. I am sure it also provided a place of tranquil reflection to many others .
I have revisited this paradise in the last few years and the clear water, the streamer weed and I am sure that the fish as well have all disappeared. So sadly for local kids that wanted to fish are now snookered. It is no longer a place that is pleasurable to fish in , walk by or picnic near. Such spaces are so precious and disappear almost without any one noticing them, If the Wharfe on in the Yorkshire dales and next to huge population areas can be dealt with so badly whilst under the full public spot light by the water companies , the EA and successive governments then what hope is there for this country and we should look at ourselves and the present society and consider what we are leaving for future generations.
The only way this will change is if the Govt wishes it. They certainly have the power to do it . It would appear that what is missing is the will to do anything . Perhaps the MPs have friends in the water companies and are shareholders. I have written to my MP on many occasions on this matter . His responses are clearly those standard " party line " responses that offer fine words , rhetoric but little substance , It will be interesting to see if the labour party get in at the next election , I fear they will offer more fine words lets hope that it is linked to some proper action. As a first if everyone writes to their MP or challenges them at the next public surgery then things may change , The govt needs to know that people think this matters . That its a vote catcher ,, then and maybe then things may change.
Perhaps if every angler , Kayaker , wild swimmer , bird watcher and other concerned citizen just decided to cancel their water rates , I wonder if the water companies would have the stomach for taking them all to court.
Sad but very true. Thanks for this. Anglers be real activists for our rivers but for too long we've been silent. Our Councillors, MPs, water companies, etc won't care unless we tell them.
Time we al rose up.
Thank you for writing your article. I’ve just finished watching the second episode of ‘Our Troubled Rivers’ and still trying to take it all in. To be honest I think I’m in shock. I knew things weren’t right but didn’t realise just how bad they had become.
Despite being an avid angler in my younger days I haven’t fished for a good number of years. I’ve spent countless hours alongside streams and rivers, not only fishing but marvelling at the wonders of the natural word. I was mainly a course (river) angler and even though I don’t go now, June 16 still holds a special place in my mind.
I'm going to make an effort to write to my local MP particularly as I now live in Yorkshire, an area repeatedly shown in the programme as having major water quality problems and a dreadful water company.
Thanks for reading and I hope you get more Joy from him than i have
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