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Anglers' fury as hydro project is given the go-ahead

An Angling Trust poster opposing hydro power projectsAnglers have expressed dismay and anger that a hydropower project at Pershore on the Warwickshire Avon has been given the go-ahead by the Environment Agency - despite evidence that the scheme will destroy vital fish habitat and reduce flows to a trickle.

The Angling Trust objected to the scheme on the grounds that the developer had provided no environmental information with the application and that the flows over the weir at Pershore will be reduced to a trickle for most of the year.

According to the Angling Trust the installation will not only destroy a prime angling spot, but will also destroy vital spawning habitat in the weir pool for the population of chub and barbel over several miles of the river. The Trust said the Environment Agency was obliged to inform objectors of their decision, but had failed to let the Angling Trust know that the scheme would be going ahead.

Angling Trust Technical Director Alan Butterworth said: "I have commented on more than 70 schemes on behalf of the Angling Trust over the past year and this is one of the worst I have seen. There is a complete lack of analysis of the turbine's impact on the water environment by the developer and the Environment Agency's own internal fisheries experts have been ignored. It should not have been permitted."

The Angling Trust has recently met with the Chief Executives of the Environment Agency and British Waterways and with Environment Minister Richard Benyon MP to set out its concerns about the permitting and licensing of schemes which will damage river flows, fisheries and other aquatic wildlife. Details of its national campaign on this subject can be found at http://emarketing.blue-leaf.co.uk/t/r/l/ykidkhd/ahrukjtt/r .


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