You may have seen across social media an article by Rachel Salvidge from the ENDS team on the future of the Natural England HGB project. See Article
We have been unable to confirm whether this is correct as all communications on the matter are referred to Fish Legal. But, if correct, then this is significant for the future of the Broads Fishery.
In terms of any compensation to Natural England, I have to say, if sound project management had been used throughout the project, this should have been identified in the project risk register – which BASG was stating from the outset but ignored. The project has never had planning permission nor an environment permit, clearly major milestones for any multi million investment scheme.
What this does show is that anglers views can be heard and represented if the science is evidence of damage. If we want to secure and sustain the future of the Broads Fishery, we must change the way we view this resource. BASG has pushed extremely hard using volunteer passion on a number of key Broads issues, Prymnesium, EA Funding, the River Wensum and of cause Hoveton Great Broad.
Many of these initiatives were secured by the engagement of both the Angling Trust and Fish Legal. But there is so much more that could be done if we had the resources and finances to deliver this,
We looked long and hard last year following the first legal case of theft of Riparian Fishing Rights. This proved that the status of tidal Riparian Rights as exists across the Broad Rivers was far too complex. What remains however is an agreed legal right to access the water, subject to landowner agreement.
We continue to identify areas with a long history of angling, be it from staithes, land with changed ownership or development – all slowly being lost to angling access.
We will be publishing a second consultation paper on this shortly.
Over on the Wensum, our funding bids with Norfolk Rivers Trust were both successful. Volunteer accreditation on Riverfly monitoring is completed and funding to implement water quality monitoring on the headwaters is agreed. We have also secured funds to scope the engagement of citizen science monitoring across the entire catchment. Tim Ellis and I have created a paper on Wensum Roach, which will be distributed to working group members next month.
With all of this, little time for fishing. But I have had a few.
That’s all for now.