Have your say on rivers in Wales

Rivers in Wales: have your say

Many of the rivers in Wales are facing a range of ecological threats which threaten to render them unfit for the wild fish and other aquatic wildlife that depend on clean freshwaters to survive.

Building on the success of last year’s inaugural spring seminar, we have decided to provide another opportunity for stakeholders from all sides of the debate to share their views and help drive forward the changes required to protect these precious freshwater environments.

This year’s seminar will be held at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells on Tuesday, April the 3rd.

Our Welsh National Officer Richard Garner Williams explains the significance of this event:

“It was evident from our seminar last year that a change in priorities and approach is required if we are to manage the land without detriment to the rivers in Wales.

As the only wholly independent charity campaigning for wild fish and their environment we are in a good position to act as mediator and catalyst in encouraging stakeholders to progress from the discussion stage and implement change.”

Many rivers in Wales are currently suffering from alarming levels of pollution from source to sea.

In the uplands, forestry plantations are causing the acidification of spawning grounds and nursery areas to the point that they are incapable of sustaining any complex life forms while in the lowlands, chronic and acute pollution arising from intensive agricultural practices is having a devastating effect, not only on fish but also on aquatic invertebrates such as mayflies, sedges and dragonflies as well as freshwater plantlife. This, in turn, is affecting the fortunes of other species such as kingfishers, dippers and otters which cannot survive without a flourishing freshwater environment.

Richard Garner Williams continues:

“It is appalling that many of our rivers in Wales are under as much threat from human activity now as they were at the height of the Industrial Revolution.

Agricultural pollution affects some 180 individual waterbodies in Wales and the number of reported pollution incidents shows no sign of a decline.

Restoring the health of the rivers in Wales to their former glory is paramount, and this year’s seminar will present the opportunity for us to dig deeper into the principle challenges arising from land management and identify workable and immediate solutions.”

The seminar will run from 10.00am to 3.00pm and will include a light lunch. A full list of contributors will be available in due course.

The event is free to attend for all those interested in the future health of rivers in Wales. To book a place to attend, please contact: Richard Garner Williams by email on: wales@salmon-trout.org. Places will be limited, so please book early in order to participate and have your say at this significant event.

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