Archive for the 'Active' Category
In this time of recession, we all tend to be busy keeping our “heads above water” but the fish are working to keep their “heads below water”. We had the biggest flood since Hurricane Charlie and drought this summer with the usual hopelessly low water conditions. It is an urgent situation that we now complete the initiative set out in the River Basin Management Plan for the Vartry and not wait until 2015 when it must be complete. It states “Establish Minimum Instream Flow Conditions and requirements for compensation releases to allow flow variations”. Nothing will be done if we are not proactive on this. Recession is a good time to push the authorities to set this Compensatory Flows (according to the EU law), since pressures of development are lessened.
At our first meeting in the fall, we discussed the “Scientific Approach” which was to find a way to equate “flow and level” to “oxygen and temperature” and the necessity of scientific help to develop this equation for the River Vartry. The Central Fisheries Board have been of great help to the River and us by encouraging John Clarke of UCD to make his MSc thesis on the Vartry River. We have been very lucky to have John doing this important work which hopefully will form the backbone of future work to insure that more water flows in the Vartry. John has taken measurements over the past months and is now formalising his results. Once he has published, we will hopefully be able to provide access to the complete study for everyone.
Thanks John from all of us.
Often we remember to complain when things go wrong but don’t bother to compliment when things go right. We would like to thank An Bord Pleanála for their decision on the Ryan Development PL27.235089 in Clora, Ashford. This appeal by the contractor was against the Wicklow County Council who refused permission to this development on the basis of it being premature even though it was part of the Local Area plan. There were objectors (including ourselves) that joined the Wicklow co.co. but had additional objections on the basis that the surface water was being routed directly to the River Vartry above the Salmon Beds and to do this the developer had proposed to drill into the protected structure of the Nun’s Cross Bridge. It is clear from the decision that An Bord Pleanála read carefully and with a keen eye, every submission and every detail, rather than simply supporting the Wicklow County Council and rejecting the appeal. The thoroughness that they exhibited in rejecting means a lot to us and to the neighbors in the area. We think you are doing a great job truly acting as a means for people to have a say in what goes on around them. Your fine work is appreciated.
An Taisce are organising a public meeting in Roundwood on Monday 16th November at 8pm at the Roundwood Community Hall. They have commissioned an experienced environmental planner to discuss the planning process and the plan. This plan is the umbrella plan for the area and is very lacking in regards to all the Rivers and specifically the Vartry. We need to have a submission drafted that will encourage the Wicklow County Council to discuss Rivers for other purposes than just Drinking Water!
If anyone is interested please do attend and help us draft an observation to this important plan.
A proposed Breaker’s Yard sought an Exemption from Planning Permission to locate this within 25 meters of the River Vartry, Broadlough and the Murrough. This was approved by WCC without full diligence regarding current Planning Laws. This may mean that we will have to go to An Bord Pleanála to get this reversed, although we are pursuing other avenues with the Friends of the Murrough. (Cooperation with the Friends of the Murrough is one of the results of the meeting of the River Vartry Protection Society).
In order to operate, they need an Environment Permit where there is opportunity to object up until the 30th of October. If anyone wishes to object, can they call me on 087-2561074 and I will help. The ground of objection are Sound Pollution, Sight Pollution, and a great likelihood of seepage into the River both though the soil and due to runoff both in storm and normal conditions. As well, some of the byproducts are hazardous waste and there is not sufficient information to assess whether these will be handled properly.
This is a new and surprise Threat and we had hope that we could improve the conditions on the Murrough to make it less heavy industrial not increase it. This is against the River Basin Management Plans for the Area and should be stopped. We would like to see the Murrough one day be a good and friendly place for tourists, not a place of noise and scrap.
A local person who has lived in the area for about 20 years brought up some more issues which we could consider as part of the river preservation. He feels that the river level is more related to Wicklow CoCo taking water via pipes in the dryer summer months, as opposed to the reservoir – he believes that the water level in summer is impacted mostly by this.
Removal of trees from watercourse – last time this was done after the storms, when it was too late. There’s a good chance this will happen again. There’s a lot of heavy timber in the water around Devils Glen. This is something we could easily sort out, and we could arrange a work party to remove this.
Removal of trees from river banks needs to be managed as it impacts on otters.
Mink population wipes out the fish, and they need to be trapped. There’s definitely mink in Devils Glen, but not sure of overall population on river. When mink are removed, the otters move back in.
Conifers planted too close to watercourse drop leaves and that makes the water too acidic.
The meeting was a great success and I personally would like to thank all of you for participating. There were over 40 people there, which considering there were a lot of people who had to cancel at the last moment, was a fantastic show of commitment and support.
We talked about a Historical Approach to getting more water in the river and a Scientific Approach towards monitoring and enforcing EU Regulations. This did spark interest and the consensus was to continue to pursue these and increase the effort.
This is a unique body of neighbours which I believe has never been assembled before. The joining of forces of Riparian Owners and Surrounding Neighbours joining together to protect the river. A corridor of safety to the habitat and River which flows though all of our area. The shared Rights and Responsibilities of Riparian Owners were discussed and the basis of this in Common law which can dictate how we would like the River to Remain.
We will be producing a summary of the meeting but in general there were several important points.
There were volunteers to make up a small steering group that will help administrate.
There is a volunteer to help with grants and grant applications who is a professional in this field, and has already reached out to help.
There is a member will be investigating whether there is a University that might be interested in conducting some research for us.
The River Vartry Protection Society welcomes its members and selected guests to the first meeting of the Society at Hunters Hotel, tonight Thursday the 1st of October at 8 PM. All members are welcome to an evening of meeting, discussion and talk about the future, the past and the present efforts to protect the River.
The Wicklow County Council has denied permission to Michael Ryan on a proposed development near Nun’s Cross bridge on the basis that they have not decided how to develop the area AA9 designated in the Ashford Area Plan and granting permission would be premature. This development threatened both the River and the Nun’s Cross Bridge, suggesting that they would deposit unfiltered runoff from the development directly into the River. The method proposed was to drill into the 1700′s arch of the Bridge. This was opposed by many residents as will as the River Vartry Protection Society so we are pleased that the WCC supported our position, denying permission.