Pike anglers are at the forefront of the fight to save Cambridgeshire’s ancient loades.

These historic waterways, probably of Roman origin are in a “new” plan by
the National Trust to extend the Wetlands of Wicken Fen. This will involve
lowering the Lodes, thus transforming them into internal drainage ditches.

PAC liaison officer Dennis Moules said: “We successfully fought this issue
30 years ago. This is completely unacceptable for all anglers.

“The Lodes hold specimen fish of all species and are ideal waters on which
to teach youngsters. These small waters have special memories for many of us
and must NOT BE destroyed.

“I urge all anglers to support this cause by signing the online Don’t Ditch
Our Lodes petition to No.10 Downing Street, by clicking here.

It reads simply: “We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to ensure
that the Cambridgeshire lodes don’t get ditched!”

Dennis added: “Geoffrey Woollard, a retired county and district councillor,
is coordinating opposition to this plan, but we need help from as many
anglers as possible.

“The Lower Great Ouse and Fenland Fisheries Consultative Committee, on which
I serve, are to oppose this at the highest level.”

Mr Woolard writes in his introduction: “Some 30 years ago, a successful
campaign was waged to save The Cambridgeshire Lodes, ancient canals of
probable Roman origin – principally Bottisham, Swaffham Bulbeck, Reach,
Burwell and Wicken Lodes – which were threatened by the then authorities.

“A decision was made to maintain and to preserve The Lodes. Such is the
situation today: The Lodes have been maintained and preserved.

“But new documents indicate that The Environment Agency has commissioned a
Œscoping report‚ costing some £200,000 and that it is looking critically at
The Lodes, an option again being that of converting all or some of them into
ditches.

“The old campaign slogan – ‘Don’t Ditch Our Lodes!‚ – is just as relevant
now as it was in the 1970s.

“A new factor is the National Trust‚s plans to buy up and partially to flood
some 10,000 acres of rich fen land and the Trust says that Œlowering‚ some
of The Lodes would be Œacceptable.‚

“Lowering is much the same as ditching. The Swaffham Internal Drainage Board
and Swaffham Prior Parish Council support

“The Lodes being maintained. But the Philistines could be triumphant if
their opponents are inactive. So, this is a call to those with influence to
use it!”

 

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