BCP Council And Our Dirty Rivers
Controlling the watershed
Situations like this are not unprecedented. In Zuri’s time in 2200 BC the tribe appear to have occupied the watershed. That is the entire area feeding water into the rivers. This gave them control of their most important resource; clean water. We, it appears, have to sit back whilst other tribes upriver, in Salisbury, Blandford Forum and such places, can do as they wish. Who cares what happens downstream? Every new house uses water and discharges waste which ends up in the river.
The farming situation struck me forcibly when I drove over the Avon Causeway surrounded by flooded water meadows. A herd of cows was restricted to a small, wet field, knee deep in mud. The mud and cow poo was washing away and would be down in the sea in no time. At least we could see that. The real threat is the trailer loads of fertiliser and herbicides dumped on the fields adjacent to the river. These seep inexorably downstream, in themselves a stream of poison. The pollution might be worse because these rivers have so many water meadows.
BCP Council and our dirty rivers
Few rivers in Britain can be compared to the Stour and Avon. They flow through flat riverside fields. The OS maps record these as water meadows, a very rare accolade. These fields of silt, a free draining soil are unlike the water retaining clays and loams surrounding most British rivers. Anything applied by farmers onto the water meadows is fairly immediately into the water. To avoid loss of soil, the water meadows should not even be ploughed. Neither should they have any artificial fertilisers or chemicals added to them. Consequently, what goes on a water meadow is ultimately dumped in Christchurch Bay. Can BCP improve this situation when the offenders are mostly outside our area?