The incident is particularly tragic because the river has been steadily restored by volunteers from a range of organisations over the past 20 years. Volunteers from the Thames Anglers Conservancy (TAC) were on site as soon as they heard the news and have been investigating the causes and impacts of this incident, which raises a lot of questions.
Mark Lloyd of the Angling Trust will be attending a meeting with Thames Water, along with the TAC, the Friends of the River Crane Environment (FORCE) and the London Wildlife Trust to discuss what happened and the process for deciding how to make a payment to a suitable organisation to restore the river.
The ACA (now Fish Legal, the Angling Trust’s legal arm) negotiated a settlement of £500,000 when the River Wandle was polluted in 2008. This money is still being used by the Wandle Trust and others to improve the habitat and fishing on the river. Thames Water have given early indications that a similar settlement will be forthcoming for this incident and so Fish Legal hope to negotiate a similar arrangement for the Crane.
The Trust understand that the fishing on the river is largely free public access, but if any member clubs have fishing rights on the river then they should call the Angling Trust office on 01568 620447.