Weed Cutting Dates 2021

River Wylye – Bathampton to Chilhampton No
CUTTING CLEARING DOWN Days
Free weed cutting period – Wed 14th & Tues 27th April 3
Thurs 13th – Sun 23rd May Mon 24th & Tues 25th May 13
Mon 28th June – Tues 13th July Wed 14th & Thurs 15th July 18
Mon 16th – Mon 23rd Aug Tues 24th & Wed 25th Aug 10
44
River Wylye – Below Chilhampton
CUTTING CLEARING DOWN
Free weed cutting period – Wed 14th & Tues 27th April 3
Sun 16th – Wed 26th May Thurs 27th & Fri 28th May 13
Wed 30 Jun – Thurs 15th July Fri 16th & Sat 17th July 18
Wed 18th – Wed 25th Aug Thurs 26th & Fri 27th Aug 10
44
River Nadder
CUTTING CLEARING DOWN
Free weed cutting period – Wed 14th & Tues 27th April 3
Thurs 13th – Sun 23rd May Mon 24th & Tues 25th May 13
Mon 28th June – Tues 13th July Wed 14th & Thurs 15th July 18
Mon 16th – Mon 23rd Aug Tues 24th & Wed 25th Aug 10
44
River Avon – Above Crossing ‘C’
CUTTING CLEARING DOWN
Fri 23rd April to Fri 7th May Sat 8th & Sun 9th May 17
Sat 12th to Thurs 24th June Fri 25th & Sat 26th June 15
Sat 24th July to Mon 2nd Aug Tues 3rd & Wed 4th August 12
44
River Avon – Below Crossing ‘C’
CUTTING CLEARING DOWN
Tues 27th Apr to Tues 11th May Wed 12th & Thurs 13th May 17
 Wed 16th to Mon 28th June Tues 29th & Wed 30th Jun 15
Mon 26th July to Wed 4th August Thurs 5th & Fri 6th August 12
44

IMPORTANT NOTICE: EA WEED BOOM DEPLOYMENT DURING CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

We are continuing our discussions with the Environment Agency and are hopeful they will be able to install their booms in Salisbury & Chilhampton in 2021, however, this has NOT yet been confirmed. Further updates will be posted on the WFA website as soon as we have more information. Thank you for your continued support.

*Free Weed Cut – River Wylye & Nadder

Allows for a Maximum 3-days light cutting (by hand only) from 14th to 27th April, which includes clearing down. You MUST inform your downstream neighbour before cutting and when you have finished clearing down. Clubs should try to remove cut weed where possible only allowing the minimum amount to travel downstream. Representatives from EA, NE & WFA will continue to monitor weed cutting.

*EA weed booms will not be deployed during the period of the Free weed cut.

*Areas where there are salmon and trout redds and potential for juvenile fry emergence, especially after a cold winter/early spring, should be left uncut.

IMPORTANT NOTES

Under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations, 2010 – ‘Exempt Water Discharge Activity’ – The Environment Agency allows members of the Wiltshire Fishery Association to cut weed on the agreed dates and in accordance with the conditions of the exemption.

This program of dates is now agreed for 2021 and there is no intention to amend it unless circumstances arise when this is necessary. In that event, the changes will be posted on the WFA website http://wiltshirefisheryassociation.org under “NEWS” and circulated to River Email Groups. Before you cut weed, it is your responsibility to check both the website and your email group.

  1. With the exception of the *Free Weed Cut in April on the Wylye and Nadder (see separate notes above), cutting MUST start at the beginning of the dates allowed.
  2. You MUST inform your downstream neighbour before cutting and when you have finished clearing down and of any subsequent problems.
  1. Regular communication with your upstream and downstream neighbours is essential to ensure trouble-free weed cutting and clearing down.
  2. Cutting of weed outside of the authorised dates, without the Agency’s consent, constitutes an offence under Section 90 of the Water Resources Act 1991.
  3. Unauthorised cutting should be reported immediately to the Environment Agency using their Pollution Hotline Tel: 0800 80 70 60 – Note the exact location (grid reference), date & time & take photographs. Do not enter neighbouring property unless you have permission to do so.
  4. Weed cutting should be undertaken in a manner that is sensitive to the needs of the river habitat. Overzealous cutting of in-river weed or marginal vegetation can significantly reduce water levels, which can have a negative impact on invertebrates, fish and other wildlife.
  5. In all cases the final two days, as shown separately in the table above, MUST be regarded as ‘clearing down’ days and any weed not cut before these days, left uncut. In some circumstances, especially in low water periods, you may need to extend the period of clearing down beyond two days, to ensure there’s plenty of time for cut weed to move through the system.
  6. Report all blockages and any other weed related issues immediately to the WFA Hon Sec:

For WFA membership and other enquires contact: Bob WellardHonorary Secretary

Office: 01747851418 Mobile: 07872583910 Email: wfa.honsec@btinternet.com

 Website: http://wiltshirefisheryassociation.org

 

By |2020-11-26T14:58:50+00:00November 26th, 2020|Weed Cutting|0 Comments

Weed Cutting Update – 21st July 2020

The latest update from the Environment Agency received today, 21st July 2020, is that they have confirmed they will not be able to deploy the boom at Salisbury or Chilhampton. The guidance they have to follow has not changed and despite reviewing a number of options for deploying the boom they have not been able to identify a safe alternative method.

See also notes from the Zoom meeting held between the WFA & Environment Agency on 25th June, which gives a little more detail.

Attendees:
Jim Flory – Environment Agency Area Environment Manager (Avon)
Jim Wreglesworth – Environment Agency Flood & Coastal Risk Manager (Avon & Stour)
Tom Davis – WFA Chairman
Bob Wellard – WFA Hon Sec
Andreas Topintzis – WFA Hon Treasurer
Stuart McTeare – WFA Committee
Martin Browne – WFA Committee (Chairman Wiltshire Keepers)
Martijn Antheunisse – CEO Wessex River Trust
Chris Hodder – WFA Committee
Brigadier Iain Reid – WFA Committee

Meeting Summary

Our meeting focused on two main questions – 1) EA weed extraction boom operations – Salisbury and 2) Illegal weed cutting on the River Avon.

EA’s Weed extraction / boom operations – Salisbury

Q1. With regards to social distancing and working safely during Covid-19 https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5eb961bfe90e070834b6675f/working-safely-during-covid-19-construction-outdoors-240620.pdfWill the EA weed extraction team be able to install the booms at Salisbury ahead of the next agreed weed cutting dates, scheduled to start on 25th July?

The short answer to this question, regrettably, there’s NO CHANGE, for the reasons outlined below.
The EA has held a number of meetings with several members of their Ops teams who have many years’ experience installing booms, and many other in-channel works, where they discussed at length the issues for the team associated with working in close proximity.
Whilst most parts of the boom installation process are possible by social distancing, and through hygiene/cleaning measures, it appears they are still unable to come up with a suitable work-around for the process of actually securing the boom (usually achieved by driving long scaffold bars into the river bed), or indeed securing the boom poles themselves into position (which is necessary to keep the boom pins orientated into the correctly elevated position).
The bottom line is the EA requires four members of staff to be in the same boat to complete these tasks, and under current Gov’t & HSE guidance they are not happy they can meet the necessary Health, Safety and Wellbeing standards to manage that risk. Additionally, as part of a government department, the EA are following the same strict guidance for outdoor construction businesses.

How is it the EA can operate its boom on the River Test at Timsbury but not in Salisbury?
The EA’s boom construction and setup process at Timsbury is a relatively low-risk operation compared to the one in Salisbury. The Timsbury boom is a civil engineering construction using a modular platform design and is just 23m long. There is no comparison with the Salisbury boom, which is comprised of an inflatable deflector boom with primary and secondary catching booms, and much bigger at 159m. The Timsbury boom has seen significant investment in recent years, which allows the extraction process to be carried out with fewer people.

Why doesn’t the EA invest in a long term, Hi-Tech solution?
The EA does not have a legal duty to extract cut weed. Whilst the Salisbury boom is ‘low tech’ compared to the one in Timsbury, it did work extremely well before the C-19 pandemic. The cost of the boom operation is shared 50/50 between the EA & WFA owners/ clubs who cut weed. The EA’s contribution comes from Rod Licence fees, which has reduced significantly in recent years. Hence, there’s limited funds for further development of the site. However, it’s worth noting, the cost of the EA’s installation, operation, disposal of the weed and dismantling of the boom and is only ever charged at cost, with no additional ‘profit’ margin, as would be the case if using an outside contractor.

If the EA cannot operate its boom in Salisbury, why not extract the weed at a different location?
Alternative sites have been considered and trialled in the past, but with limited success. Having the boom located in Salisbury allows the capture of weed from the whole of the upper Avon catchment, including the Wylye and Nadder.

What should we do if the C-19 pandemic continues into 2021 and the EA’s position remains unchanged?
We will continue to review the challenges we fact with C-19, however, we have limited options at this stage so we will continue to work with the WFA to support individuals with small-scale, weed cutting and extraction operations as best we can. We will continue to look at affordable technology.

Conclusion
The situation therefore remains un-changed in that, members of the WFA who cut weed will need self-extract, removing all cut weed within the fishery, until further notice.
The WFA will continue to explore opportunities for small-scale extraction and to support clubs/ owners with the process.

Tom Davis expressed his thanks to the EA for joining the zoom meeting, and for being very clear about the situation with the Salisbury boom and for explaining the challenges being faced with the current Covid situation to provide proper protection for EA staff. The WFA is fully supportive of that and that the safety of the weed boom operators remains of paramount importance, whether they be staff or outside contractors.

Illegal Weed Cutting

Q2. The WFA has received reports of illegal weed cutting activity on the Upper Avon. This appears to be an ongoing problem, having been reported to the EA on several occasions. What action is being taken?
It was agreed the WFA & EA would follow up on reports of illegal weed cutting. Specific details have been withheld for legal reasons.

Message Ends

Bob Wellard MIFM – Hon Sec
T: 01747 851418
M: 07872583910
E: wfa.honsec@btinternet.com

By |2020-07-21T16:35:55+00:00July 21st, 2020|Weed Cutting|0 Comments

Weed Cutting Update – 2nd June

The latest news is that the EA held a meeting with several members of their Ops teams, including the likes of Jim Wreglesworth, Bruce Thorne and David Merrick – who have many years’ experience installing booms, and many other in-channel works, where they discussed at length the issues for the team associated with working in close proximity.

Whilst most parts of the boom installation process are possible by social distancing, and through hygiene/cleaning measures, it appears they are still unable to come up with a suitable work-around for the process of actually securing the boom (usually achieved by driving long scaffold bars into the river bed), or indeed securing the boom poles themselves into position (which is necessary to keep the boom pins orientated into the correctly elevated position).

The bottom line is the EA requires four members of staff to be in the same boat to complete these tasks, and under current guidance they are not happy they can meet the necessary Health, Safety and Wellbeing standards to manage that risk. Additionally, as part of a government department, we must be mindful that the EA are following the same strict guidance which all other businesses and members of the community, including us, are being asked to adhere to.

As you will have already gleaned from the above, this leaves us in an unchanged situation from where we were at the start of the C-19 working restrictions in that, if the EA are unable to install the booms we cannot cut weed unless we self-extract it ourselves.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Bob Wellard – Hon Sec

M: 07872583910

E: wfa.honsec@btinternet.com

 

EA Weed Booms – Salisbury

1 = Permanent concrete ground anchor with associated fixing chain (inspected and certificated annually before use by AM Defence & Marine).

2 = ‘Main Boom’ which prevents weed from going straight on down the main river, and encourages surface velocities to guide the floating cut weed towards the ‘Deflector Boom’ (see 4).

3 = Permanent concrete ground anchor with associated fixing chain (inspected and certificated annually before use by AM Defence & Marine).

4 = ‘Deflector Boom’, a floating boom with a hanging ‘skirt’ beneath the surface, this boom guides the floating cut weed into the mouth of the Navigation Carrier.

5 = First ‘Catching Boom’, which is where the cut weed is actually stopped and allowed to build up until there is enough to warrant removal from site.

6 = Footbridge (owned and maintained by London Anglers’ Association).

7 = Second ‘Catching Boom’, which acts as a second line of defence to catch any weed which manages to sneak under the first catching boom…’belt and braces’.

8 = Permanent concrete ground anchor with associated fixing chain (inspected and certificated annually before use by AM Defence & Marine).

9 = Permanent concrete ground anchor with associated fixing chain (inspected and certificated annually before use by AM Defence & Marine).

10 = Long-reach excavator within fenced area.

Note: All booms are held in place using Tirfor winches (rated 3.2t for the Main Boom and Catching Booms, and 1.6t for the Deflector Boom – all inspected annually and certificated by AM Defence & Marine).

 

By |2020-06-02T06:53:39+00:00June 2nd, 2020|Weed Cutting|0 Comments
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