The ACA, the NFA and local anglers have successfully forced a retreat on the proposed swan sanctuary at Bewdley.
Angling interests combined to provide local councillors at Bewdley with the information that they needed to make an informed decision on the proposal to ban angling from the heart of Bewdley.
The deaths of swans in Bewdley were blamed on lead shot discarded by careless anglers. However, angling organisations weighed in with evidence that helped refute the claims, which enabled the council to reject the proposal to establish a swan sanctuary in the town and ban angling.
The NFA in consultation with the ACA were able to provide local councillors with a briefing note, outlining why it was extremely unlikely that discarded lead shot had caused the swans deaths. Every English angler knows that there has been a ban on the use of lead shot for the past eighteen years and that most shot is sold in non spill containers.
NFA representative David Kent, attended the council meeting with local angler Tom Rigby and they were able to guide Bewdley’s elected members to make an informed decision and the proposal to establish a swan sanctuary was removed form the agenda.
Tom Rigby who was instrumental in alerting the angling world to the issue and establishing Bewdley Angling Club said “The swan deaths here were blamed on anglers, however we researched the issue thoroughly and found there was no evidence to support the claims which were made.
Angling has often punched below its weight; however it goes to show that when the angling community works together we have a voice that people have to listen to. Here at Bewdley, angling has shown what it can do, and now we should move forward and continue to work together with organisations like the NFA and ACA to make sure that angling is heard.
Many people’s negative opinions on angling are based on inaccurate perceptions and we need to re-educated people on the wider social benefits of the sport and how angling can be a hugely positive influence on local communities. Bewdley is the capital of angling in the Severn Valley and thankfully it will now be able to continue its rich history for years to come.“
David Kent form the NFA affirmed that, “It was gratifying to see that anglers are capable of working together. So many of these bans slip under the radar based and are based on myth rather than scientific facts.”