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Monday, 02 February 2009 17:15

Health and Safety goes mad at Foremark Reservoir

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Anglers who have fished Foremark Reservoir in Derbyshire for a generation were hanging their heads in despair last night after a meeting with Severn Trent Water’s health & safety officials who confirmed that two thirds of the reservoir is to be closed for angling due to concerns about health and safety of the public, the anglers themselves and the structural integrity of the dam wall.

Angling TrustSevern Trent’s official said that he was concerned about non-angling visitors getting hooked by fly anglers’ back casts and anglers tripping over on the uneven surface of the dam wall, which comprises a gently-shelving structure built of large rocks. Nearly three miles of bank previously available to anglers will now be closed to all fishing at all times of the year.

Anglers were most incredulous that one of the reasons cited was that they might cause damage to the dam wall by moving stones about. The dam was described repeatedly by Severn Trent as an “operational structure”; its only purpose being to contain water and therefore should not be used for angling.

Foremark Reservoir

Foremark Fly Fishers contacted the Angling Trust to seek its support after their complaints about the plans had been ignored. Severn Trent agreed to meet with the Club Chairman and Secretary and Angling Trust chief executive Mark Lloyd. However, despite a long list of proposed compromise measures being put forward by the anglers, the massive reduction in fishing will remain.

David Coates, Chairman of Foremark Fly Fishers said: “We are very disappointed with the meeting. We felt that a very negative, unco-operative stance was taken by Severn Trent. The word compromise didn’t seem to exist – it was obvious in the first few minutes that the company was not prepared to take on board any of the proposals we put forward.”

Alan Dawes, Secretary, Angling Correspondent Burton Mail. “I have been fishing Foremark for a quarter of a century and as far as I am aware there have never been any incidents involving anglers and other visitors to the site. There happen to have been two accidents in the last year and these are the only two reported accidents to have occurred on the dam wall in all the time I’ve fished there. The Health and Safety Officer clearly stated that this was a policy that will affect not only Foremark, but every water owned by Severn Trent as their leases come up for renewal.”

Mark Lloyd Chief Executive Angling Trust said: “The Angling Trust is extremely concerned about the implications of this policy for reservoir angling throughout the country. Having visited the site, I could see no reason why angling could not be continued on the dam wall, which would be one of the safest places I have ever fished. We call on Severn Trent to re-consider this policy for the benefit of hundreds of thousands of regular reservoir trout anglers and the future of our sport.”

Source: Angling Trust

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