Wildlife groups fear damage from dredging deregulation

Farmer-led river dredging pilots are to begin in England despite criticism from environmental groups and mixed evidence of efficacy.

Landowners and farmers will be allowed to carry out certain types of dredging on main rivers without seeking approval from the Environment Agency, during a one year pilot project starting on 21 October.

Environment secretary Owen Paterson said “watercourse maintenance can reduce the risk of flooding, enhance the environment and improve water quality. These pilots will make sure that people who want to carry out this kind of work can do so without getting tied up in red tape.”

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