The EA and IFM would like to invite you to a FREE one day Weed Management Workshop to be held at Wicksteed Park
Weed Management WorkshopWeed Management Workshop Wicksteed Park, Barton Road, Kettering NN15 6NJ 15th February 2020
Our aim is that by improving knowledge within the angling community and of active club members about how best to manage and control weed, your fisheries will benefit.We would like to invite you to a FREE one day Weed Management Workshop to be held at Wicksteed Park (postcode NN15 6NJ).
Our aim is that by improving knowledge within the angling community and of active club members about how best to manage and control weed, your fisheries will benefit.The workshop will look at all aspects of weed management and control including what water plants there are, how they work and the problems they can cause, invasive non-natives plants, mechanical removal, algal control and much more.It will aim to help you:
- Create a balanced fishery
- Realise the importance of aquatic weed management
- Understand techniques available for controlling difficult plants
This workshop has been developed by the Environment Agency and the Institute of Fisheries Management (IFM). We are able to offer your club, or fishery up to 4 places completely free of charge. Further places may be available on request.
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After two years of effort and much discussion here is the outcome of the efforts
33 Stakeholders took part in an engaging session held at Bawdeswell Village Hall.
The day started with an exhibition in the adjacent activities room, with displays from WACA, EA, BASG, Chris Turnbull and others informing people of the history, reference material and images and sounds from the Wensum Valley.
The workshop started with an introduction from Cass Singleton a member of the BASG CIC, who helped compile the basis of the workshop based around a report on the Past Present and Future of the river Wensum.
This was followed by a series of presentations from Kelvin Allen, the Chair of BASG CIC, who highlighted some of the report’s findings and challenges facing the Wensum.
He then went on to explain how changes in governance adopting an operational catchment based approach with engagement across all stakeholders could bring together society for the benefits of the river and its surrounding environment and people.
Finally some proposals were presented on potential governance structures to enable this, which would be the basis of the afternoons syndicate exercises. An engaging question and answer session was then facilitated by Paul Allen, with 3 key points recorded for later reference
1) Are we actually undertaking restoration to a known state in time, or are we actually undertaking actually more of the river recovery and not necessarily to a given point in history?
2) What definition are we restoring to? Either a chalk stream, Lowland River or its classified and defined SSSI classification.
3) Sources of reference material were defined back in 2005 by Southampton University.
After a working lunch, delegates formed into 3 working groups based around 3 themes.
Morphology (Transportation Erosion Flow)
Pollution (Sedimentation Agriculture Industrial)
Ecology (Plants & Bugs Habitat Fish)
Paul Allen then asked delegates to work through 3 syndicate exercises scoping Objectives, Outcomes and Governance Structures for each theme. The outputs from these are listed below:
I would like to thank all the delegates who attended and made the day both engaging and meeting all its expectations and outcomes.
A special thanks must go to John Mallen and his team at the Village Hall who looked after us admirable through the day, with its excellent facilities. Whilst the ongoing support from Cass, Rory and Neil have made this possible.
I received the following feedback from Tim Ellis, long time Wensum conservationist and angler reflecting on the day’s events.
BASG/Wensum Working Group River Wensum Stakeholder Workshop October 8 2019
"Many thanks to Kelvin and Cass for arranging and organising this, working with a professional facilitator, Paul.
From the perspective of an angler and conservationist, with involvement of varying degrees in fisheries and restoration work on the river for upwards of thirty years, this event was like a breath of fresh air! For years, especially in the early days of organisations like NACA, there was always an us and them atmosphere - us being the anglers, generally a long-haired unkempt bunch, and them being guys in suits. The guys in suits were largely the forerunners of today’s Environment Agency, variously labelled NRA, AWA, etc depending it seemed on what year it was, and historically they didn’t do conservation. We did, and there was always a clash, and every attempt to restore the river to a better environment for fish (and other things) was met with obstacles and red tape.
Nowadays of course, things are different. We still have our share of red tape, but thank goodness EA and now Natural England are these days on side with conservation.
Latterly we have had Anglers Consultative and Fisheries Action Plans, still sitting around tables with guys in suits, getting a bit less “us and them” as time moves on, but still the poor old Wensum is suffering from the ills inflicted by past generations of river engineers and a burgeoning human population. There are new, different, sticking points such as lack of funding and the constraints of working in what is now a SSSI/SAC designated site to be overcome.
The stakeholder meeting was called in an attempt to bring all parties together to form what is known as a Catchment Based Approach.
For the first time, we saw anglers, landowners, farmers, conservationists and statutory bodies all sitting down together and thrashing out approaches to solving some of the rivers problems. We talked about everything from Morphology, Ecology and Pollution, through Silt Traps, Cover Crops, American Signal Crayfish and Himalayan Balsam, to Beavers, Conduits and Constructive Wetlands.
The Morphology guys came up with a brilliant strap-line: “Sea-Trout at Swanton Morley”. I kept quiet but was tempted to suggest our group, Pollution, could use “Beavers on the Blackwater” but perhaps something less controversial like “Slowing the Flow”, (relating to field run-off) would have been more appropriate....
After the dust has settled, Kelvin and Cass are working to set up a formal group to run with the Catchment concept. Two eminent professionals have come forward to oversee Invertebrate and Macrophyte surveying, (including analysis of existing data) which will give us a monitoring system for the rivers health ongoing.
We hope this meeting will be the start of a new chapter for the river Wensum, a river for which we all care deeply and passionately".
Tim Ellis, (Chair) Wensum Anglers Conservation Association; Wensum Working Group member.
We look forward into taking the outcomes forward together, making the Wensum a better place for all.
Chair BASG CIC
After two years of effort and much discussion, we have set a date to bring all the stakeholders together to agree a new goverenance structure to support the river and its challenges. The work in bringing together the Wensum Past Present and Future report, led us to believe anglers alone can't resolve the rivers challenges. This is all about working together for the better good. .
River Wensum Stakeholder Workshop 8th Oct 2019
Bawdeswell Village Hall , Reepham Road, Bawdeswell, Norfolk, NR20 4RU
10:30 Wensum: Past, Present & Future Exhibition with Evidence, Gallery & Coffee
11:30 Workshop starts
14:00 Group Syndicates
Attending? Please book you availability using this link:
Drop In Exhibition. An exhibition of artwork, articles and reference material from the Wensum will be available for the public to view throughout the day in the Activities room, as a public drop in centre.
The Workshop will be held in the Main Hall. Delegates will join structured themed groups, aligned to existing activities including morphology, flow, diffuse pollution, point source pollution, fisheries, invertebrates, and monitoring.
The day will commence with an introduction to the proposed Catchment Based approach. The afternoon session will allow delegates, in groups, to contribute proposals and ideas regarding Project Governance, Objectives and Measurable Outcomes.
For reference, the River Wensum: Past, Present and Future paper and proposals circulated in June 2019 for consultation in July 2019 are available here.
Stakeholder Engagement is Key. For the day to achieve most benefit, engagement and representation from across all stakeholders is essential. The stakeholder community has clearly spent much effort in the previous decade on the River Wensum with varied levels of success in making improvements in addressing Water Framework Directive issues. This a rare chance to make a difference in creating change in how the river is managed going forward to sustain what is, in our opinion, the East of England’s most precious river.
In Summary. We look forward in seeing either yourself and/or a representative from your organisation on the 8th Oct 2019. Please book your place via the following link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/wensum-stakeholders-workshop-tickets-67205727139
Kelvin & Cass
Kelvin Allen Chair Wensum Working Group
Cass Singleton Member Wensum Working Group
The document led from an investigation of issues impacting on roach within the Wensum, but as members Tim Ellis and Cass Singleton soon found. The surrounding catchment is having a real impact on the river, much of which was heavily reported and investigated back in 2009/10, but even with 1000's of pages of documented evidence little or no progress has been made on these core issues. Indeed some are now saying that with reduced highways maintenance, reduction in agriculture subsidies and many farmers converting to maize production, things have actually got worse.
With invertebrates reported by both S&TA and Buglife as at an all time low on the Wensum and seemingly poor levels of fish, any restoration works exposing clean gravels and back channels creating improved habitat, soon gets choked with silt and pollution and its back to square one, without fixing the core source of the issue.
The doument gives a potted history of the Wensum and the issues it faces today, with a set of recommendations on how to moce this forward using a more consolidated approach, building on the Catchment Based Approach that has brought success to many river valleys across England.
The presentaion is available in the downloadable attachment below.