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  #1  
Old 06-08-2017, 22:03
Mark Swaby Mark Swaby is offline
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Default Flood defense teams fitting Otter holts whilst clearing the banks illegally

Interesting post on Des Taylor's facebook page by a retired EA fishery officer.About flood defence teams installing Otter holts whilst working on fisheries cutting down trees, without informing the club or land owner.Sorry i do not know how to cut and paste,it makes a mockery of the whole situation,worrying reading
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Old 06-08-2017, 22:32
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https://www.facebook.com/thedestaylo...nf&pnref=story
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Old 07-08-2017, 09:25
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Graham Young Graham Young is offline
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I read this the other day and it just confirms my view that the EA hold anglers in contempt, all we are is a cash cow for them.
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Old 07-08-2017, 10:00
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Stuart Prescott Stuart Prescott is offline
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Illegal activity for the good of the otter ???

Who would have thought .....,,
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Old 07-08-2017, 10:19
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I might be wrong, but I thought that otter and wildlife trusts had to obtain a consent to build any structure within 8 meters of the bank from the EA.
So in effect it's always been the EA who sanction artificial holts.
I guess if they found themselves with felled wood they then utilised for log holts.
The EA should have sought landowners consent beforehand though, given the potential threat to fisheries and the strict non-disturbance laws once otters move in?
It's been obvious for decades that the old NRA and the current EA agendas have been to encourage otters,.. just look back through catchment management plans etc.
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Old 07-08-2017, 11:35
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Bobby Baker Bobby Baker is offline
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It's been part of the EU directive and catchment management plans for an extremely long time. Research conservation management and otters through google and you'll be bombarded with a mass of PDF files to read, stating laws and reasoning. Can't say I agree with EA flood management plans, bloody appalling in many cases, but recycling materials whilst undergoing works makes sense... Saves them a few quid too eh!
Never pleasing for anglers to read about the encouragement of otter populations, but as part of returning rivers to a good ecological status, there needs to be a balance for all native inhabitants? Be interested to see what percentage of relevant parties have been notified when installing holts nationwide. Could well be a massive cock-up there if the law states that is what's needed.
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Old 07-08-2017, 12:48
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This link makes ref to required land drainage consent, but some say that it's not a requirement.... maybe a difference between log and plastic tunnel holt criteria?

http://www.loutres.be/IMG/pdf/e.Buil...ter_holt-2.pdf

As far as riparian consent being required,... it wouldn't surprise me if landowners have little say if said land forms part of a SSSI,... NE seem to call most of the shots in those circumstances.
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Old 07-08-2017, 13:10
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I don't quite understand the need to keep building artificial holts, their return has already been hailed a success and surely they can build their own?
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Old 07-08-2017, 13:41
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Your post could well take us full circle back to the original post Rhys.
Maybe because of flood defence habitat destruction?
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Old 07-08-2017, 14:37
Joe Winstanley Joe Winstanley is offline
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As a general rule, I always think its wise to adopt a healthy skepticism about comments which are posted on the internet by somebody unwilling to be named.

For what it's worth - as an organisation the EA ceased to exist in Wales back in Feb 2013 and was replaced by a new agency called 'Natural Resources Wales' which was formed by a merging the EA, FC and CCW.

As Dave rightly points out, the EA have never made any secret of the fact they have encouraged the building of otter holts. In they have always been quite keen to advertise the fact. To the layman its makes them look as though they are actually doing something useful.

As for the need for licencing to create an otter holt - a licence is not necessarily required. Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act it would only be breached if the proposed works were going to 'knowingly' 'intentionally' or 'recklessly' disturb an existing breeding/resting site. Under the European Habitat Regs, an EPS licence would only be required if the planned work was going to damage or disturb key habitat features. I would suggest the creation of a simple timber otter holt is unlikely to breach either Reg's or require planning consent. Obviously their would be a need for consent from NE/CCW on scheduled sites such as SSSI's.

The accusation of carrying out illegal, unlicenced otter releases is quite a strong claim. Having had many years professional experience in dealing with both the EA, NE/EN and indeed CCW, I find it very unlikely that anybody in those organisations would put their careers (and final salary pensions) on the line. Not when they could have simply gone though the official channels. In my experience the EA can't raise a simple purchase order for hiring a meeting room without running up a War and Peace length audit trail, so how they could have managed to conduct a secret release program is simply beyond me (it seems all a bit Walter Mitty to be honest). And if otter reintroduction was something they aspired to then I feel sure they would have been shouting about it from the roof tops. As it is otter re-introduction was never needed in Wales as they never disappeared in the way that they did in England. In the early 1990's Wales, along with the SW, was widely considered to be an otter stronghold as the species naturally recovered following the withdrawal of certain organochlorine pesticides.
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