Concern regarding ARK's proposals for Marlborough's river meadows
I am very concerned at the vagueness of the proposals put forward by ARK [action for River Kennet] for the management of the meadows and have urged the Town Council not to pass anything until clarified.
The plan "Illustrative Masterplan - consultation draft April 2012" shows part of the river from the seat at the end of the boardwalk to the Poulton Bridge as "river managed as wild corridor - no public access". This is the plan shown at various public meetings. I agree with this part of the plan.
Another plan in the document " Management proposals Sept 2012" shows a similar area of the river and part further East as "potential zone for catch-and-release wild trout fishing". This plan, while available from the Council offices has NOT been shown to the public. The Director of ARK has confirmed that they do hope to have some fishing on this part of the river.
As the Sept 2012 plans have never been shown to the public at any consultation meeting the "results" should be considered null and void. ARK has in my opinion misled the public. The two uses for that part of the river are obviously incompatible as fishing, extra footpaths etc. would destroy the wildlife value of the area as enjoyed by many people. I think it should be clealy stated in any plan that there is no fishing on any part of the river adjoining the meadows.
Today I notice that an area behind the factory has been cleared and several oaks trees planted just a few feet apart. I think this must cast doubt over the quality of the advice and who has given permission for this work?