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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 3 September, 2002, 12:27 GMT 13:27 UK
River protected after pollution kills fish
Dead fish
Thousands of fish were killed in the River Dee
The River Dee in north Wales and the Ceiriog tributary looks set to become one of the largest conservation sites in the UK after Wrexham council backed a scheme to safeguard the area.

The Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) had suggested the whole of the Dee - from Bala to the sea - should become a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

What is an SSSI?
Site of special scientific interest
Main site protection measure in UK
Can be proposed by anyone
Designated by law
Monitored by statutory bodies

Two years ago more than 100,000 fish were killed after a pollution incident.

On Tuesday, councillors agreed that the river and its banks should be safeguarded.

However, although the local authority have ratified the proposal, the final decision on SSSI status will be made by the CCW.

Following further consultation, board members will meet later this year to decide the scheme's future.

The rivers are home to salmon, trout, dragon fly and otters.

The CCW argued that the area is of unique interest and should be protected under law.

There are more than 1,000 SSSI's in Wales which are designated by law and are monitored by statutory bodies.

Rhys Williams from the CCW, said the wildlife and fish should be protected.

Catastrophic incident

"It's the duty of the Countryside Council for Wales to notify these Sites of Special Scientific Interest for rare habitats and rare species," he said.

"Unfortunately there was quite a catastrophic pollution incident on the Dee two years ago and it decimated the fish population on the lower section of the river.

"Hopefully, a notification of a Scientific Interest Site will help to prevent further pollution incidents."

The CCW will now work closely with the Environment Agency to monitor the area.

The status will prevent industry from coming to close to the rivers and their banks.

Mr Williams said: "The main purpose of the designation is to protect the remaining habitats."


More news from north east Wales
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03 Mar 00 | Wales
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