Water Authority needs to take responsibility for biodiversity

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I WOULD like to add my total support for the concerns raised in the letters page by J.H. Jones regarding the Water Authority’s management of the environment at Clypse and Kerrowdhoo reservoirs.

The Authority’s website pages describing the reservoirs are full of glowing descriptions of the abundant and varied wildlife.

However,in July 2010 I was horrified to find that several corridors containing varied grasses and wildflowers, and alive with insects, had been mown flat to the ground in areas which could not conceivably be an impediment to walkers.

I emailed my concerns to the Authority, and was told that they had decided their grounds maintenance programme after meeting with DEFA officers, and the main concern was to prevent overgrowth. There was no mention of goals of biodiversity or conservation, but my email was forwarded to DEFA senior biodiversity officer Dr P. McEvoy.

Dr McEvoy informed me that a number of years ago, before his tenure, there had been meetings between Water Authority and DAFF Widlife Division members aimed at helping the Authority manage their estate in an eco-friendly way.

He further undertook ‘to contact the Authority to renew their contact with DEFA to ensure that they follow best practice where this is not at odds with essential maintenance works’.

Sadly, it appears that maintenance programmes which pay no regard to biodiversity are still the order of the day.

The Water Authority is guardian of large tracts of public land with huge potential for promotion of native wildlife.

I would urge anyone who enjoys walking these beautiful places to add your voice to require the Authority to come up with a much more sympathetic management plan, and for DEFA to get more actively involved in providing suitable advice and guidance, and if necessary bring pressure to bear.

PETER CHRISTIAN

Address supplied.

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