Anglers are being urged to join an action group in opposition to a plan to build a £40million dam on one of Europe’s top match fishing venues and barbel fishery.
England’s River Severn – the longest waterway in Great Britain – would be subject to ‘catastrophic’ flooding if the plan is given the go-ahead, says Save Our Severn (SOS), an action group that has been formed to fight the proposal. The partnership behind the plan claims that the water barrier, one mile from Shrewsbury town centre, would protect 2,500 homes in the vicinity from flooding and pave the way for a massive development of 47,000 new houses.
The UK’s major fishing magazine, Angling Times, reports that an independent survey carried out by SOS has found that the dam would be too small and could overflow within just 2.5 days of a full flood – submerging at least 10,000 acres of farmland and riverbank. The project is a cause of concern for a number of angling associations in the area, including Shrewsbury Angling Club, which owns six popular stretches of the Severn in the area.
Its Secretary, Chris Wood, told the newspaper: “Last winter’s floods were devastating and if we have similar cases, this dam would spell disaster. Aside from creating a barrier to migratory species like salmon and eels, it’s likely we will see immense flooding. The dam will also need to release water to stem floods which, depending on volume, could remove large areas of gravel downstream and change the physical features of the river.”
SOS joint Chair Ed Tate added: “Flooding is a serious issue on the Severn and we want to see a good solution to the problem, but building a dam is not it. We will create a petition to try and thwart plans, but making people aware of what’s happening is our primary goal right now.”
Main picture: Angling Times.