ANGLERS have put a barb on attempts to clear reeds from parts of a river after it was found the fishermen who owned the stretch kept it to environmental standards.

Former Royal Borough councillor, Duncan Parker, has had a net thrown over his appeals to get a stretch of the river Colne Brook in Wraysbury cleared which he claims is becoming a flood risk.

Mr Parker said: “I’ve been trying to get the Environmental Agency to do something about it for almost two years.

The weeds mean the the river doesn’t flow as it should, and in time it could flood Coppermill Road. I think it shows scant regard for the people of Wraysbury.”

Wraysbury Parish Council agreed there were issues with the waterway, but explained its powers were limited.

Parish council chairwoman, Margaret Lenton, said: “The Borough Council has got to know there’s a problem, but there isn’t much we can do about the slow flow of the river during a drought.”

“We do take the waterways seriously. The waterways have been on the agenda in every parish meeting. We are concerned about a range of issues, and have voiced these concerns.”

“The council can’t enter people’s private property – it’s up to the landowners to take care of the river.”

Mrs Lenton explained that even when the Royal Borough heeded its concerns, the results were sometimes not what they had hoped for.

She added: “The borough council spent £185,000 on repairing Wraysbury Drain, but we’re not satisfied.

“It didn’t do all the repairs needed. We’re considering submitting a Freedom of Information request to find out exactly how the money was spent.”

The key landowner of the Wraysbury section of the Colne Brook, the Blenheim Angling Society, said it took its obligations seriously, but saw little need to clear the river of vegetation.

The society has owned the stretch of the river bed since 1923.

Society secretary, Fred Lancaster, said: “We do do what we can. The weed growth in the river can’t be helped. It’s natural for it to be there. Why would you want to remove it at all?”

“Our members spend one or two days a month clearing out flood risks such as fallen trees and branches. The council has never lifted a finger.

“We have a survey done every year by the Environmental Agency and we have always passed inspection.

“If the council has an issue, why don’t they come down and see what we do?”