Environment Agency Launches Blueprint for River Avon
The Environment Agency is asking the public for its views on a plan to protect and enhance the Bristol Avon River, its tributaries and surrounds.
The Bristol Avon Consultation Document outlines the Agency’s initial view of the principal environmental issues and problems facing this diverse and complex area, beginning at the river’s source above Tetbury in Gloucestershire, south as far Frome in Somerset and west to its end at Bristol and the Severn Estuary.
The Avon catchment takes in two major cities in Bristol and Bath with their related heavy and light industry, large tracts of agricultural land and an increasing tourist industry. It is also home to a variety of nationally and internationally important wildlife.
The publication of the document – drawn up in conjunction with a steering group made up of local representatives of industry, agriculture, fisheries and environmental and recreational groups – marks the start of a three-month public consultation period.
The Agency wants to hear from local people whether or not they feel it has identified the correct issues and ways of addressing them. Proposed action include:
Investigating the failure of 19 river stretches and smaller watercourses to comply with water quality standards and drawing up a plan of action to address the problem.
Continuing to survey the declining Native crayfish population and monitor their displacement by American signal crayfish in order to develop a conservation strategy
Completing an angling survey at Great Somerford as part of ongoing work to establish minimum environmentally acceptable flow levels in the Malmesbury area
Producing detailed floods risk maps for local authorities to use in development planning
Combating the growing problem of fly-tipping by, for example, working with Wiltshire County Council to provide more civic amenity waste disposal facilities
“We hope people in the area will look at the plan and let us have their comments on the issues raised or any others they consider important,” said Alan Turner for the EA.
“This process is all about partnership and we look forward to working with local people and organisations to help safeguard the special character of the Bristol Avon and surrounding countryside.”
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