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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    South East England
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    3,823

    Default Re: A Few Words on UK Wildlife Depletion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Hatton View Post
    Nice thought but no chance, Mark. Long gone...nothing to salvage; just deserts of memories.
    That's a shame Cliff, I guess too far gone and past restoration.
    I have seen it happen a long time ago. 4 blokes took over a bit of old slag heap from the Kent Pits, they paid a minimal amount of money and turned it into a lake duck shoot. But they put as much effort in it for conservation, judicial planting and what attracts ducks attracted a lot of other wildlife. There argument was they only took a minimal amount of ducks in the season and that was a small payoff for what they had done and it was all thier own money, just had the idea and went for it.
    Shame we cannot get the same sort of consideration for angling. A venue is created for angling which benefits all the other wildlife just does not take hold so much. I think this is overlooked in the case of commercials sometimes though. I know a few that have become wildlife havens. One was so good for birdwatchers the owners charged the bird watchers .50p to have a look round. The thing was the formation of 8 lakes in this case and all the careful planning of planting trees and bushes for anglers was great for birds as well. Fabulous it was too, I enjoyed fishing there immensley for both the fish and the wildlife.
    Last edited by markg; 12-10-2019 at 07:27.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Upminster, Essex
    Posts
    135

    Default Re: A Few Words on UK Wildlife Depletion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Hatton View Post
    The pits of which I write (above) were the old Ham River Grit Co's pits adjacent to the Belhus estate..
    I fished these pits as a 10 year old in 1952 whilst they were still extracting gravel and my mates and I caught loads of gudgeon using a garden cane for a rod with heavy green twine (which absorbed water and sank) and a small hook tied to what was then called 'cat gut'. For a while the waters were day tickets and I used to run errands for the Bailiff and he let me fish for nothing.
    Around 1962 the pits which had now grown much larger, were taken over by Moor Hall & Belhus A.S. so I now had to join the Club to continue fishing there.
    Gravel extraction continued to take place and eventually the waters now stretched from Dennis Road, across to Arisdale Avenue then Erriff Drive behind Lennards School (now The Ockendon Academy) then across to what is now the M25.
    Anyone who knows the area will know that is a massive area of lakes which all contained some lovely fish.
    Wandering around these lakes with a single rod wobbling a sprat became one of my most pleasurable pastimes.
    Then the fly tipping began and regretfully we could do nothing about it. These beautiful lakes were filled in with all sorts of toxic waste and there were frequent columns of thick,black, choking smoke from burning tyres.
    But all is not lost.
    Despite contamination from the tipped areas, the Main Pool and The Slurry, which are virtually in the middle, have survived.
    At the present time Rural Arisings have been appointed to turn the area into Belhus Country Park. They are currently putting down loads of rubble to 'cap' the polluted soil and also creating shallow ponds for newts and such like. This is I believe a 10 year project.
    The good news is that my club, Moor Hall & Belhus A.S. still control the fishing rights and the Main Pool contains lots of Carp up to just over 30 lb and some decent Tench. There is plenty of wildlife, Dabchicks, Grebes, Kingfishers, Herons, voles, rabbits and such like. Plus 'the black death' - Cormorants along with the usual Coots, Moorhens and Ducks.
    On my first visit (to The Main Pool) in June this year fishing from 8.00 am until 5.00 pm (I don't night fish) I caught 11 Tench all over 5lb and up to 7lb 7oz. I also had 3 Common Carp, a 14 lb + and 2 over 16lb. Great fun on my Tench gear and they all took off like trains and fought every inch of the way to my landing net.
    My best Tench from there was last year and it weighed 8lb 12oz.
    But like Cliff I remember what was and what could now have been. It should never have been allowed to happen but it did and was repeated no doubt in many other areas.
    Such a shame - but at least we have the memories to cherish.
    Last edited by eddiebenham; 14-10-2019 at 11:40. Reason: Added more water birds.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    on the move
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    1,825

    Default Re: A Few Words on UK Wildlife Depletion.

    Just come across this.
    "Little Belhus, in the south west of Essex, is an ambitious project to turn 86 hectares of former landfill into a country park. The site has historically been used for the extraction of gravel and sand dating back to the 1940’s and before then was farmland. After the mineral deposits were extracted the pits were filled with household waste and commercial/industrial waste.

    This process of infilling was completed by the mid 1970’s and as the standards and enforcement procedures at the time were limited no environmental protection occurred. Restoration purely involved a thin cover of soil and no planting was carried out.

    The site is now despoiled contaminated land with associated health and safety implications.

    In addition to the surface hazards the biodegradation of waste material leads to the production of leachate leading to potential contamination of water resources both on site and in the water table. This is not helped by the permeable nature of the current surface covering (where present). Biodegradation of waste material also results in unmitigated risks from landfill gas."

    What else is buried out there.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Stuck on the chuffin M25 somewhere between Heathrow and the A3
    Posts
    11,302

    Default Re: A Few Words on UK Wildlife Depletion.

    Quote Originally Posted by steve2 View Post

    What else is buried out there.
    Unfortuntely its unlikely to be the greedy swine who allowed this. There are similar stories round here....not on the same scale but the pits on which I served my apprenticeship are under tarmac now.

    The pit me and the BF " discovered" this year is full of asbestos as well as bloody great carp and tench. Just dumped in the lake ffs....certain swims are unfishable because of it and I dont know anyone who fishes it that hasn't lost a lump through being cut off on the asbestos. It can't be doing anything any good but its impossible to remove now.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Mid Wales
    Posts
    1,268

    Default Re: A Few Words on UK Wildlife Depletion.

    Quote Originally Posted by steve2 View Post
    Just come across this.
    "Little Belhus, in the south west of Essex, is an ambitious project to turn 86 hectares of former landfill into a country park. The site has historically been used for the extraction of gravel and sand dating back to the 1940’s and before then was farmland. After the mineral deposits were extracted the pits were filled with household waste and commercial/industrial waste.

    This process of infilling was completed by the mid 1970’s and as the standards and enforcement procedures at the time were limited no environmental protection occurred. Restoration purely involved a thin cover of soil and no planting was carried out.

    The site is now despoiled contaminated land with associated health and safety implications.

    In addition to the surface hazards the biodegradation of waste material leads to the production of leachate leading to potential contamination of water resources both on site and in the water table. This is not helped by the permeable nature of the current surface covering (where present). Biodegradation of waste material also results in unmitigated risks from landfill gas."

    What else is buried out there.
    Thanks for that, Steve.
    A couple of years ago I managed to grab the initial attention of a young female reporter from the Thurrock Gazette but, eventually and, perhaps, inevitably, she lost interest! Many - probably most - of the protagonists are long gone but maybe there are still individuals living-out their lives in ill-gotten luxury. For sure, Thurrock Council wouldn't want any belated publicity about this scandal - and neither would the police.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    North Yorkshire.
    Posts
    10,537

    Default Re: A Few Words on UK Wildlife Depletion.

    I understand the sentiment, but I'm not entirely convinced that anglers are especially open minded when it comes to angling venues. I'm not convinced that many really care that much about the environment other than as an afterthought. I'm not suggesting that anglers don't care about the environment, just that their concern can be less than objective when it comes to an angling venue.

    Not surprisingly, many anglers will lament the loss of a load of gravel pits, and the environment the area surrounding them became. No mention of the destruction of the previous environment that was lost to create them in the first place.

    There's a similar weird contradiction amongst anglers when it comes to river alterations. If anyone suggests any kind of installation that alters the flow (direction, depth, rate) of a river, most anglers will be up in arms. However, if anyone suggests removing an existing weir, most anglers will be up in arms. As the Yanks might say, "go figure!".

    I know that some anglers do care for the environment, but, when it comes to fisheries, they are primarily interested in fish welfare for their own enjoyment. If that happens to benefit the wider environment, all to the good. However, we need to be careful not to dress up our rather specific interest, in fish and fishing, into something that it's not. I know I've spent hours planting Norfolk Reed, reedmace, flag iris and willow. I know it's had a wider benefit for multiple bird species. However, I did none of it for any other benefit than the fish and my fishing.

    Otters are the most blatant example of some angler's twisted logic. They'll blather on about environmental protection when it comes to any form of habitat destruction, or pollution, that will affect fish. At the same time many of the same people will be talking about "controlling" otters.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Mid Wales
    Posts
    1,268

    Default Re: A Few Words on UK Wildlife Depletion.

    Mercifully, the pit from which this 14lber came has been spared despite its proximity to what was Europe's largest dump at Mucking in Essex. It's now under the control of Essex Wildlife Trust and is, I believe, being developed - visitor centre etc. Before EWT's involvement, the water was largely stripped of its pike by Eastern Europeans who'd take them away by the sack-load. I'm unaware if EWT will / does allow fishing.

    For some reason I can't upload said pic...just imagine yours truly with a 14lber! Meanwhile, here's me with a nice bag of crucians, circa 1965.

    A Few Words on UK Wildlife Depletion.-crucians-64.jpg
    Last edited by Cliff Hatton; 22-10-2019 at 11:34.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    on the move
    Posts
    1,825

    Default Re: A Few Words on UK Wildlife Depletion.

    Quote Originally Posted by sam vimes View Post
    I understand the sentiment, but I'm not entirely convinced that anglers are especially open minded when it comes to angling venues. I'm not convinced that many really care that much about the environment other than as an afterthought. I'm not suggesting that anglers don't care about the environment, just that their concern can be less than objective when it comes to an angling venue.

    Not surprisingly, many anglers will lament the loss of a load of gravel pits, and the environment the area surrounding them became. No mention of the destruction of the previous environment that was lost to create them in the first place.

    There's a similar weird contradiction amongst anglers when it comes to river alterations. If anyone suggests any kind of installation that alters the flow (direction, depth, rate) of a river, most anglers will be up in arms. However, if anyone suggests removing an existing weir, most anglers will be up in arms. As the Yanks might say, "go figure!".

    I know that some anglers do care for the environment, but, when it comes to fisheries, they are primarily interested in fish welfare for their own enjoyment. If that happens to benefit the wider environment, all to the good. However, we need to be careful not to dress up our rather specific interest, in fish and fishing, into something that it's not. I know I've spent hours planting Norfolk Reed, reedmace, flag iris and willow. I know it's had a wider benefit for multiple bird species. However, I did none of it for any other benefit than the fish and my fishing.

    Otters are the most blatant example of some angler's twisted logic. They'll blather on about environmental protection when it comes to any form of habitat destruction, or pollution, that will affect fish. At the same time many of the same people will be talking about "controlling" otters.
    I agree, angling as also helped destroy some local environments. All the ponds,lakes,rivers we fish have all changed or we have dug holes in the ground to create places for us to fish. Few rivers,lakes etc. are now natural along with the fish we fish for we made them suitable for our pastime. We have added alien species to waters where they shouldn't be just for our benefit without a thought as to effect on other species.

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