Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Memorandum by the Friends of Tring Reservoirs (IW 09)


  Friends of Tring Reservoirs is a wildlife conservation and education charity (Registered Charity No. 1073622). Its main area of interest is Tring Reservoirs and the area surrounding them, which includes the three canals fed by the reservoirs. It should be noted that FOTR is the only wildlife conservation group solely or exclusively involved with the canal network.

  Our concern is that the objectives set out could be in conflict. All the other objectives will have an effect on the environment and wildlife, particularly leisure, recreation, tourism and water transfer.

  The development of leisure, recreation and tourism will result in an increase in the number of people using the waterways system. Great care will need to be taken in the management of this increase to avoid disturbance and damage to habitats.

  Some habitat areas are designated Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and may have their own safeguards, but there are many other areas that have no specific protection. If the natural environment is to be protected and wildlife enhanced these areas will need protection as well as the SSSIs. The environment and wildlife will have to be given priority in these sensitive areas or the environment will be damaged, and there will be no enhancement of wildlife.

  Water transfer may also impact on the canal environment and wildlife. The transfer of water from one area to another could result in the introduction of disease and undersirable flora and fauna (such as invasive non-native species) which would affect the "balance" of nature and possibly cause serious environmental and wildlife damage.

Peter Hearn
Chairman, Friends of Tring Reservoirs

September 2000

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