Letter to the Editor: What qualifications do you need to work in the Department of Environment?

My guess judging by their latest fiasco concerning the historic Lydney Docks and pier is a useless Mickey Mouse degree in origami with honours and the jobs yours.

This is on top of their pathetic excuses for the pollution of our seas and rivers having for decades allowed the water companies to dump as much untreated sewage into them without raising an eyebrow until a public outcry made them sit up, but still no guarantee of action.

The DoE stopped salmon fishermen on the Severn and Wye, some of who depended on this for a living, blaming ‘over fishing’ for the disappearance of this noble fish when pollution and salmon farms have proved to be the real culprits for the decline.

Now, to cap it all, their approach to ‘Elf and Safety’ at the historic pier at Lydney Harbour must surely rank as the pinnacle of their stupidity.

The DoE has blocked off the pier, docks and mooring basins to public access on the grounds that one day someone MIGHT fall in with the intention to make these barriers a permanent fixture.

I must point out to your readers that nobody in living memory has ever fallen off the pier in Lydney so why now?

Visitors to this historic landmark pier have enjoyed this amenity for generations to view the Severn in all its natural glory.

A cafe, visitor centre and toilets have been built in recent years for the benefit of visitors and now the ‘main attraction and viewpoint is now out of bounds. If there was ever an award for crass stupidity the Environment Agency would be in Gold Medal position.

What next on their hit list? Barriers along the Sharpness canal or the Kennet and Avon?

No access to Dorset’s Jurassic Coast beaches in case of rockfall?

Where does this stupidity end?

Luckily some dedicated Forest of Dean locals and others outside the area have started a petition to stop the DoE madness.

And I would urge any of your readers to visit Change.org and search Lydney Harbour to help right this disastrous decision by the DoE.

The present installation of the gates to the pier are unlawful as Lydney Harbour is a scheduled monument under the Ancient Monuments Act 1979 which says ‘Making any alterations to the Harbour without consent from the Secretary of State is a criminal offence’. Surely the Environment Agency don’t consider themselves above the law? Watch this space –

Edward Kynaston, Lydney