What, in my opinion, was glaringly absent were some of the people and controlling bodies that I feel should have been present expressing their views and grave concerns about the present state of what should be the “Jewel of the Wye Valley”, the River Wye itself.
Below Monmouth we have some of the prime fisheries of the River but not one owner or angler deemed it important enough to air their views and show support for this worthy “Save the River Wye” cause. A few weeks ago we saw a Lower Wye Ghillie/Fishery Manager appear on television deploring the state of the River and how he was losing thousands of pounds a week in revenue – he should have been there shouting from the rafters. The Wye Salmon Association could also have been there to point out to the interested gathering the deplorable state of this Season’s salmon catches. Likewise, the Wye and Usk Foundation, the so called Guardians of our River, a Body that has had millions of pounds pass through their hands and have allowed the River to degrade, could have been there to give their opinions. National Resource Wales and the Environment Agency, again noticeable by their absence, perhaps pursuing other leisure activities instead of being present at Redbrook to show their concern for the River and the environment they are there to protect. Not one person from a Canoe Hire Company took the opportunity to come and express their concerns for a River which is their livelihood and in its death throes – unfortunately because it is “their busy time of the year” and the revenue is an important factor to them.
After over forty years of my involvement with the Wye and its catchment area both personally and professionally, it sickens me to see what has been my “workplace” and “passion” descend into what can only be described as a “polluted ditch” . Our Grandparents left us a pristine River and Countryside which unfortunately we are fast destroying. We should ALL be fighting tooth and nail to preserve it for future generations.
George R H Woodward