Suggestions have been made by TWL, the owners of Mistley port, that there is a lack of concern on the part of FTQ about the risks to swans from people fishing over the fence on Mistley Quay
Of course FTQ is concerned about the swans. They are a much loved feature of Mistley and several FTQ supporters have fed and cared for them over the years despite difficulties created by TWL by the erection of the fence on the Quay. When the Quay is free the swans can be fed, injured swans recovered from the river and cared for, and occasional fishermen can fish peacefully and responsibly.
The edge of the quay is part of the Village Green for the enjoyment of lawful sports and pastimes by local residents who are currently prevented from using it by the erection of the fence. There is nothing that TWL can do to restrict this.
The old signs about risks to swans of fishing were advisory by nature. There is nothing to stop fishing anywhere on the riverbanks or from boats and neither we nor TWL can or should monitor or control fishing in the Stour.
The erection of the fence has taken away the gentle pleasures of swan feeding from a generation of local residents, which has attributed to the migration of the Mistley herd to better homes on the river. The correct approach to protect the swans is to explain the risks to the fishermen and ask them to take care not to lose gear by the quay. Restoration of the joy of swan feeding will bring them back to Mistley.
This is an issue confected by TWL; if they had a fraction of the concern they have for swans for the peace and enjoyment of their human neighbours in Mistley they would have avoided the problems of the last ten years.
26 July 2019