AN ANGLING official has blamed Eastern European immigrants for piles of litter being left on the banks of the River Welland.
Andy Jackson, secretary of Peterborough and District Angling Association (PDAA), was left “totally horrified” after finding a trail of beer cans, vodka bottles and food waste along the riverbank between Spalding and Four Mile Bar Bridge, near Crowland.
Mr Jackson, whose association has 260 adult and junior members, claimed to have filled ten bin bags with the litter when he found it during the August Bank Holiday weekend.
He said: “Our association has the fishing rights for the River Welland, but litter is a major problem and the river isn’t a very nice place for people to see at the moment.
“On Sunday August 26, I filled the back of my car with ten black bin bags of litter, the majority of which was Polish beer cans, vodka bottles, food packaging and remains of barbecues.
“The association is keen to protect our stretch of water and the environment, so we want to make the public aware of how bad the problem is and see if we can educate people in the fact that it’s not acceptable.”
Mr Jackson added that his association was willing to help immigrants understand fishing rights after almost 30 Eastern European anglers were turned away for refusing to buy a ticket in the last three weeks.
“They buy a licence to fish with a rod and line, then assume that gives them the right to fish without having to pay any more money,” Mr Jackson said.
“We’re involved in a project called Building Bridges, run by the Environment Agency and Angling Trust, to integrate Eastern European anglers into the British way of doing things.
“It’s about promoting the countryside as a recreational facility to be enjoyed by everybody.”
An Environment Agency spokeswoman said: “We do sell rod licences and all anglers need a valid rod licence to fish, but any other fees payable to fish a particular area are down to the club or association to enforce.
“People who don’t buy a licence are cheating their sport and other anglers.
“We would also encourage those who use the riverbank to take their litter home and not spoil the environment for others.”
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