Christmas Miracle for All Our Rivers, Lakes and Wetlands

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), December 12, 2006 | Go to article overview

Christmas Miracle for All Our Rivers, Lakes and Wetlands


In recent years cartloads of sometimes nonsensical directives have come out of Europe controlling and manipulating the way we live our lives. However there are exceptions and one of these is the recent Water Framework Directive.

All anglers will welcome this directive because it demands that all member states restore the ecology of their rivers, lakes and wetlands by the year 2015. What a wonderful Christmas present - we should be out singing in the valleys.

In order to demonstrate their determination to see this directive succeed, the European Supremos have ordered that all plans for its eventual implementation must be in place by the year 2009.

You may ask what the Water Framework Directive actually means as it is not a very distinguished title for what we consider a momentous directive. In fairly simplistic terms it means that the ecology of all our rivers, lakes and wetlands must be restored to what they were many, many moons ago so that by 2015 we will have rivers running in the quality and quantity they did in the pre-industrial revolution era. Rivers always bear the brunt of an industrial society.

A coalition of leading environmental organisations - with anglers well to the fore - have recently produced a Blueprint for Water in which they call on the UK government to start on the process immediately so that the waters of England and Wales will be in the required condition in plenty of time. Anglers, because of their intimacy with the aquatic environment, appreciate this move more than most.

Members of the Salmon and Trout Association, the Fisheries & Angling Conservation Trust, the Anglers' Conservation Association and the Association of Rivers Trust make up a substantial percentage of the six million that are putting their weight behind the blueprint.

Other leading environment organisations like the Wildlife Trust and the RSPB have also put their names to it.

Moses, the Old Testament prophet, came down from the mountain bearing Ten Commandments from God. These governed the behaviour of mankind for centuries.

The Blueprint for Water also has 10 commandments and hopefully these will go some way towards governing the conduct of the many sinners who have over the years destroyed and polluted our rivers and streams.

Water is our most precious natural resource and in its pure form is essential for our health and happiness. It is also vital for our wildlife. …

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