Dry year and wa­ter ab­strac­tion to blame says as­so­ci­a­tion chair­man

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - by Camilla Good­man camilla.good­man@trin­i­tymir­ror.com Twit­ter: @Camil­la_Good­man

We res­cued over 2,000 fish and also moved them to The Moor. There are many dead fish on the river bed, into the thou­sands

– Paul Jen­nings

KIND-HEARTED par­ents and vol­un­teers have des­per­ately been try­ing to save the lives of thou­sands of fish due to a sec­tion of a river dry­ing up.

The stretch of the River Chess that runs near Thomas Hard­ing School and Wa­ter Meadow car park in Che­sham has been run­ning out of wa­ter over the last month, and on Wed­nes­day, Septem­ber 30 the re­main­ing few pud­dles dried up.

This has re­sulted in thou­sands of dead fish, mainly stick­le­back and a few bull­heads, on the river bed.

Des­per­ate to help, vol­un­teers from the River Chess As­so­ci­a­tion have been out and have res­cued about 2,000 fish and moved them to The Moor, where the river is still flow­ing.

Chair­man of the as­so­ci­a­tion Paul Jen­nings be­lieves the river has dried up due to a dry win­ter, spring and sum­mer as well as over ab­strac­tion by wa­ter com­pa­nies to sup­ply wa­ter to homes in Che­sham and else­where.

Mr Jen­nings added: “The En­vi­ron­ment Agency was in­formed and did come out to re­view the sit­u­a­tion, but it will only im­ple­ment a fish res­cue if they are ma­jor fish. The ones in the up­per Chess were all small fish. We res­cued over 2,000 fish and also moved them to The Moor. There are many dead fish on the river bed, into the thou­sands.

“We have spo­ken with the En­vi­ron­ment Agency and it is happy that these small fish are res­cued by the public as long as they are re­leased in the same river where there is flow. Res­cued fish should not be re­leased into other rivers.”

This is ex­actly what con­cerned par­ents Debby Cox and Caro­line Mas­ters have been do­ing. They have been down with buck­ets on sev­eral oc­ca­sions and re­hom­ing some of the fish in the river near The Moor.

Mrs Cox, who has also been down with her hus­band and two chil­dren, said: “I’m among a num­ber of very con­cerned par­ents and, in fact, hu­man be­ings.

“Hun­dreds of fish were piled upon each other flap­ping around in mud.

“This is very dis­tress­ing to the chil­dren and adults alike. So many fish have died.

“Mea­sures should be taken to pre­vent this hap­pen­ing to our wildlife.”

Mr Jen­nings has thanked Mrs Cox and her fam­ily and friends for help­ing and he is call­ing on more read­ers to help save the fish.

Have you tried to save the fish? Email buck­snews@ trin­i­tysouth.co.uk.

Mea­sures should be taken to pre­vent this hap­pen­ing

Dried up: Vol­un­teers are at­tempt­ing to res­cue fish along a dried-up sec­tion

of the River Chess

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