Historic, landmark legal victory!

23 Nov

This week Fish Legal won one of the biggest cases in our 64 year history by getting an injunction to stop an ugly and damaging hydropower development going ahead on the River Trent at Sawley Weir.  Here’s a picture of Sawley weir and also a picture of Beeston Weir nearby on the Trent, which has had a hydropower turbine fitted to it already.

Sawley Weir in the snow

We hope that this case will send a clear signal to hydropower developers that they cannot plan or build hydropower turbines without getting permission from anglers first.

The ruling by the Judge shows that the Environment Agency failed to give proper consideration to angling when it granted the developer an impoundment licence which is now subject to a court injunction. We hope that in future the regulator will pay greater attention to the rights of anglers before giving licences to companies seeking to profit from taxpayer subsidies.  It’s important to recognise that this isn’t the fault of the people who work in fisheries at the EA, most of who do a great job, but it’s the fault of the organisation as a whole that doesn’t take fish and fishing seriously.  We’re intent on changing that.

What’s more, the Canal and River Trust (previously British Waterways) – the new waterways charity established to promote recreational use of our nation’s waterways – was an investor in this development, and tried to defend the damaging scheme in court.  We hope that this case will make CRT think again about getting into bed with these developers.

Fish Legal was acting for its member club the Pride of Derby & Derbyshire Angling Association, which was involved in the first ever major case taken by Fish Legal (then known as the Anglers’ Co-operative Association) against British Celanese Ltd in 1952. The club would never have been able to defend itself in court without the expertise and financial backing of Fish Legal, which has covered all the costs and risks of this very complex and expensive case. This in turn is only possible because of the subscriptions and donations of the generous members of Fish Legal and the Angling Trust who make it possible for us to fight to protect fish, and fishing. Read more about this story HERE.

Politicians speak out in The Angle
Our magazine, The Angle, landed on our 15,000 members’ doormats this week. We managed to get exclusive political interviews in the magazine with the new Secretary State for the Environment Owen Paterson as well as the Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon and his opposition counterpart Tom Harris.

Owen Paterson the New Environment Secretary. Read his views on fishing in The Angle.

They express their clear and forthright views about hydropower and also about cormorants, universal canoe access and bass minimum landing sizes, among other issues. Read quotes from their interviews HERE.  If you’re not a member of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal, please join up and we’ll send you a copy of the magazine, along with all the other member benefits.

Labour’s Tom Harris is the Shadow Fisheries Minister (pictured here with AT’s own Martin Salter). Read why he thinks “anglers are a great early warning system” in The Angle

It only takes a few minutes to join online at www.anglingtrust.net or over the phone and costs less than 50p a week – please call 01568 620447 during office hours.

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