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Case Studies - Blythe Waters, West Midlands

Blythe waters is a commercial fishery set in 20 acres of countryside, 1.5 miles south east of Knowle in the West Midlands. The water was developed as an 8 acre fishery by its previous owner and comprises 4 “pools” containing carp as the predominant species.

One of the lakes, Home Pool was developed directly under the path of a high-voltage power line. The 275kv line spans the water at a minimum height of 11metres. British Waterways realised there was issues surrounding the use of this pool as a fishery so decided to consult the lines owner to agree a way forward. Current good practice guidance from the Angling & overhead Lines working group, states that a minimum exclusion zone of 30 metres should be observed at locations where an overhead electrical power line crosses over or adjacent to the water.

This distance should only be reduced where the findings of a “suitable & sufficient” risk assessment demonstrate that the risks from the line can be appropriately managed.

The introduction of this guidance on home pool would have caused a closure of the water to angling and a consequential loss of revenue to the owner. A working group comprising the local Fisheries Manager, Fisheries Supervisor, Safety Advisor & British Waterways representative on the Angling & Overhead lines working group was set up by the local Service Manager.

The aim of the group was to carry out a risk assessment of the site, identify the core issues and the methods of angling on the pool to allow development of a management system, which included appropriate risk controls for the site.

On completion of the site assessment a site meeting was arranged with a representative of the owner of the overhead line. The working group discussed the findings of the risk assessment and agreed the introduction of revised/additional risk control measures which included:

  • Removal/re-alignment of angling platforms immediately adjacent to the overhead line
  • The introduction of two floating booms positioned directly below the outer conductors of the overhead line
  • Revised signage to indicate the presence of the overhead line &
  • The extension of an area of reed-bed directly below the line to stop access to the water.

The introduction of these measures both safeguards the anglers and the income from the facility.

This case study was written by British Waterways and subsequently verified by Carl Nicholls, Fisheries & Angling Manager, Canal & River Trust and was published in 2004

This website entry was last updated on 10 May, 2014

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