Friday, 11 September 2020

MPs & Lords rally to chalkstream cause




Do you know what an APPG is? Frankly, I had absolutely no idea when I received an email excitedly telling me that a Chalkstream APPG was being formed. It means, for those of us who don’t live in the Westminster bubble, an All-Party Parliamentary Group.

Essentially these are informal cross-party groups that have no official status within Parliament that are run by and for Members of the Commons and Lords. The members meet to discuss, campaign on and promote a certain issue. MPs often find that forming and chairing an APPG can be an effective part of a parliamentary campaign, as it can act as an extra vehicle with which to spread awareness of the issue within parliament and as a springboard to events and publicity. 


There are a great many APPGs – at the last count over 400 (all have to be registered with the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards) covering a vast diversity of topics: most nations around the world are represented by one. Jazz and beer have their groups, though some might say this should be combined into one. Serious issues such as breast cancer or homelessness have APPGs.


Into this arena have stepped Sir Charles Walker, MP for Broxbourne and Sir Oliver Heald MP for North East Hertfordshire who will be holding the inaugural meeting of the Chalkstream APPG on September 15th to which all MPs and Members of the House of Lords are invited. Obviously, us mere mortals cannot attend but it might be an idea, if you live in a constituency with a chalkstream, or know a friendly Lord, do alert them about the meeting.



And in breaking news, the Environment Minster Rebecca Pow, who recently greenlighted the River Otter beavers, is to hold a Chalk Stream Summit on October 16th. In a press release, that also covered sewage in rivers and water leakages, her department said on Tuesday:


“Chalk streams: Chalk streams – known for their clear waters and rich wildlife – continue to be at risk due to low flows, poor water quality and unsustainable abstraction by water companies. The Minister urged water companies to significantly raise their ambition to improve chalk stream catchments and asked them to join her at a Chalk Stream summit she will host on 16 October.”


All things considered, these are both great pieces of news.



Contacting your MP


The most effective way is via email. You can check your local MP, and obtain his or her email address, with this handy link. I don’t think your email needs to be overly long; something along the lines of:


You may already know that there is a new chalkstream APPG forming on 15 September, under Sir Oliver Heald and Sir Charles Walker.


There are only 225 chalkstreams in the world and you are fortunate to have the [insert names] in your constituency, However, these delicate ecosystems under intense pressure from climate change and urban development, especially abstraction and pollution. The failing status of our rivers, and chalkstreams in particular, has been well reported in recent weeks and months.


I would, therefore, ask you to consider joining this APPG.


[Your name] Constituent in xxxxxxx





Frankel book talk will be Zoomed


Just when you thought things were returning to something near normal then the sting in the Covid tail strikes …...


No sooner had we announced, then filled my September talk for the Frankel book in the lovely riverside marquee at The Greyhound on the Test then the whole edifice had to be swiftly dismantled as HM Government reduced social gatherings from thirty to an intimate, but ultimately impractical, six. However, some good has come out of it as I will be doing the talk live via Zoom in October on the date of Frankel’s fourteenth and final race.



So, you don’t need to travel. You can pull up your comfortable chair. Drink your own wine. And it’s free! I’ll chatter away for about 30 minutes starting at 7pm aided by a slideshow from the Frankel archive, plus some I took on the road whilst researching the book. You’ll also have a chance to send in questions of your own and we’ll aim to wrap up by 8pm.


To register, please me send an email with nothing more than Frankel in the subject line. We’ll send you a Zoom link and login code on the day.


Simon Cooper in conversation about his new book Frankel: The Greatest Racehorse of All Time and the Sport That Made Him.


7pm Tuesday October 20th 

Email to register.



Andy Buckley comes south


I first met Andy Buckley when he was, as they say, a sallow youth working in the Farlow’s store at Pall Mall. But he always had a bit of a life plan, so when he disappeared to the Seychelles to guide I wasn’t altogether surprised. Nor was I surprised when he returned to set up a guiding business in his native Derbyshire.


It is a tough gig starting from scratch, as I well know. But Andy is talented, hardworking and knowledgeable as all those of you who have been guided by him will attend. But for all his love of the limestone streams such at the Dove, Andy relishes a trip down south to show us soft natives how to do it.


Last month, along with his accomplished partner Ieva, who acts as camera woman and director, they produced two great films on Kanara on the Itchen and Bullington Manor on the Upper Test. Here is the Bullington Manor film; I’ll bring you the Kanara film next time.




Sight Fishing The River Dever - Upper Test Dry Fly: Chalkstream Trip Part 3



Autumn Two Pack


You need to be armed and ready for both eventualities in the autumn; the fish on the surface. And the fish on the fin. My Autumn Two Pack with September/October dries and the Chalkstreams nymphs should cover just about every possibility and the 12f/6xt leader will give you an extra edge.


Click here to order ....




World rivers quiz


I don’t know about you but sometimes I find Microsoft Edge, the web browser that replaced that old friend, Internet Explorer a bit annoying popping up, as it does, photos and random bits of news. However, sometimes it does come up with a winner.


Last week I was suckered into trying World Rivers Map Quiz but it is rather fun. It will take no more than a couple of minutes, though I’m ashamed to say I scored a fairly dismal 58%. I’m sure you will do better.


Click here to complete the quiz online



Have a great weekend.



Best wishes,




Simon Cooper

Founder & Managing Director





Time is precious. Use it fishing



The Mill, Heathman Street, Nether Wallop,

Stockbridge, England SO20 8EW United Kingdom

01264 781988



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