Newsletter New Year 2021
Despite the strange year, we have all experienced your association’s committee has remained active. We have been particularly preoccupied with the prospect of the introduction of beavers into our Dorset valleys. The Dorset Wild Life Trust plans to release a pair into an enclosure situated on a small reserve they were gifted in the headwaters of the Frome. The association convened a meeting in February to discuss this and express our dismay and opposition to the proposal, our thanks to those of you who came to listen to the lively exchange of views. Since this meeting, your association has contributed to the funding for a comprehensive ‘beaver review’ by Professor Ian Cowx of Hull University. This was commissioned by the Angling Trust and was published in December. Amongst many recommendations, it highlights the need for further research into the physical and economic impacts of beavers before any more are released into the wild.
Following an illegal introduction, there is a wild population in the Otter catchment which has expanded rapidly over the last 5 or 6 years, it is likely animals will spread to Dorset. We are determined that control arrangements free of clogging red tape should be put in place quickly; without such controls, the physical damage to our fisheries will be heartbreaking and also be highly damaging economically. You will be pleased to hear we feel we are making some progress and we will continue to work on your behalf with our efforts to maintain our much loved free-flowing rivers. I do hope you will support us by signing the attached “beaver accord”. We much regretted having to cancel our AGM and being unable to tell you about our various activities in person. It seems unlikely that we will be able to hold one in April in 2021, perhaps later in the year will be possible. Dominic Stubbing experienced a difficult year in 2019 and it was amicably agreed the chairmanship should pass to myself and therefore until voting is possible at an AGM I am accordingly acting chairman for the time being. My thanks go to our two vice chairman Charles Dutton and Richard Illingworth and also to Ruth Evans our Secretary/treasurer who have worked tirelessly throughout the year on our behalf.
With Best wishes for the New Year,
Richard Slocock Acting Chairman.
P.S. We have an email address for few members but it would be an enormous help if those of you receiving this via snail mail could send your email address if you have one to
Ruth Evans at firstname.lastname@example.org
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