The Warwickshire Avon at Marlcliffe looking her resplendent tree-lined best in the height of Summer. The banks lined with colourful trees, bushes and reeds full of wildlife and plenty of Willows helping to combat erosion.
A short amble downstream and we reach the lock island, another haven for wildlife. I have seen Kingfishers aplenty down here feeding on the fry that take shelter in the roots and reeds, Swans nesting and nurturing their ugly ducklings, and even a family of Mink.
So who's idea was it clear the whole far bank of every tree and the whole island as well!! Rumour has it that the Avon navigation trust are trying to make the river deeper to enable bigger boats to be able to travel upstream to Stratford. I'm no expert but surely the bankside clearing will only increase erosion and therefore the widen the river making it shallower? or is it not that simple?
|Rocks on the weir|
The island is now a shadow of its former self. It is not easy to tell from the photo but the bank is now a bolder-strewn wasteland with sharp rocks stretching well out into the water. I am sure the Barbel will return to spawn as they always do but I implore anyone fishing for them in these swims to use really strong tackle. Any fish that are landed will probably have mouths full of hooks from lost battles where the hooklink has sheared on the rocks. This whole exercise has not been done without any thought on fish safety whatsoever. A beautiful area has been decimated and cannot be the haven for wildlife it has been. I will be looking for pastures new come next season. Rant over!
|My (former) favourite swim|
One four pounder and a smaller one fell to a lump of last years cheesepaste. An enjoyable bit of fun in the Winter sun.