Association to revive River Waveney launched in Harleston

More than 100 people attended a meeting to set up a trust dedicated to the revival of the River Waveney.

Author, broadcaster and angler John Wilson addressed the packed room at the Swan Hotel in Harleston on Thursday, where he highlighted the problems facing rivers like the Waveney.

'We now find ourselves in the worst drought year in my lifetime,' he said, adding that water extraction had led to rivers getting silted up.

He warned that there had been a big drop in fish numbers, while the number of predators feeding on them had increased.

The push to set up a trust was started by Geoff Doggett, from Harleston, and Dave Gladwell, from Ellingham.

Mr Gladwell highlighted the problems of poor water quality and his call for a 'whole river survey' was met with overwhelming support at the meeting.

There were also speakers from the Rivers Trust, the Diss River Care Group, Norfolk Wildlife Trust and Canoe England.

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A show of hands was enough to get the River Waveney Association established – the first step towards setting up a trust within the next couple of months.

The aims of the association are to ensure the river and its surroundings are maintained and made accessible for the enjoyment of residents and visitors now and for future generations. They include: improving water quality, flow and cleanliness; removing unnecessary structures; improving the ecology, navigation, angling and general access; improving communication between the various user groups and public bodies; and promoting the role of the river in the cultural, social, educational, environmental and economic life of the Waveney Valley.

For further details, visit www.riverwaveneytrust.org or call Geoff Doggett on 01379 853464. Membership is free for all joining before the end of May.

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