We visited the Bandon Flood Scheme site last week to document the ongoing serious ecological damage and mitigation failures that are occurring here. There is no effective water quality mitigation in place. There are three token silt curtains in the river downstream of works with water and silt just flowing under them. These offer no protection whatsoever.
The river downstream of the works area is seriously polluted with silt, and it has been like this since construction works commenced in May. What can’t be seen is the tens of thousands of juvenile lampreys and salmonid that have been killed here. Protected species such as Otters and Kingfishers can’t find food and impacts have been noticed even in the estuary.
As well as the serious pollution and physical damage, the banks of the entire length of the scheme are being lined with rock armouring. The “fisheries restoration” involves installing unsuitable hard engineering deflectors. This is turning the river into a Heavily Modified Water Body. In the future salmon may be caught near these deflectors – but there is so much more to a river than catching fish and the ecology of the river here is being permanently damaged. Indeed, this scheme is a worst-practice case study. Over the weekend the works area was flooded causing a further massive release of silt and other pollutants.
But don’t just take my word for it. We recorded a confrontation we had with the Bandon Flood Scheme’s “ecological experts”. During this encounter, the lead ecologist admitted that this scheme “is a f___ing disgrace” and he goes on to explain that that they are only there because they need to learn and ensure that this never happens again. He also adds that they “don’t ever want this to happen ever”. He also adds that “it is killing us being on here” and that they “do understand what this bloody mess is here”. He wants to “educate people that this is not the way to do this job” and adds “we have learn’t more on this job about how not to do this”.
So when the OPW say that the works are being monitored by “ecological experts” remember that this is what their experts think of the Bandon Flood Scheme. I have the video on file.
Also see this post ‘Bandon Flood Scheme – Breach of Article 4 of WFD?‘