A GROUP of fishermen battling to keep an ancient tradition alive on the Gwent Levels have been fighting on two fronts this week after the area was targeted by fly-tippers.

On Monday February 3, items including a fridge-freezer and multiple wooden pallets were dumped at the site used by the fishermen to collect wood for their nets.

Black Rock Lave Net Heritage Fishery employ a traditional fishing method which has been used on the estuary for more than 400 years.

South Wales Argus:

Items including a fridge-freezer and multiple wooden pallets were dumped

Lave net fishing involves standing waist deep in water, trying to haul in fish using homemade nets on willow frames.

The willow for these frames is harvested from pollarded trees in a lane in Magor.


Fishery secretary Martin Morgan has fished the estuary for more than four decades. He is the fourth generation of his family to fish using lave nets.

"It is a regular dumping ground," he said.

"The rubbish builds up over a period of time, but you also get the big deposits like the one in the photo."

The fishermen cleared the lane and the reen nearby of rubbish only eight weeks ago.

South Wales Argus:

The fishermen of the Black Rock Lave Net Fishery

"It took us around 4 hours," said Mr Morgan.

"We had to get into the reen with our waders on.

"The people who do this have no respect for the community or environment.

"Saying they should hang their heads in shame would have no effect, because they have no shame.

"Some people just don't get it, just don't care one hoot."

The group of eight fisherman at Black Rock Lave Net Heritage Fishery start their three-month salmon fishing season on Monday, fishing every other week on spring tides.

Monmouthshire County Council said in a statement: "Monmouthshire County Council offers a variety of waste services to allow residents to dispose of their unwanted items in a safe and legal way, therefore it is disappointing to see incidents of fly-tipping in our county.

"Not only does fly-tipping blight our beautiful countryside and towns but it is also costly to clear.

"We continue to work to educate people on how dispose of household waste and unwanted items appropriately. Anyone found to be fly-tipping will be prosecuted. “