23/01/2012 Inside Out South


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Welcome To Inside Out. Coming up: the water normally would be up to


here. Where has all our water gone? How the South is running dry in the


middle of winter? Are you a betting man? �10 on whether there will be a


hosepipe ban. The secret wartime mission from Bournemouth they ended


in tragedy. If there was something wrong with the aircraft, then it


was not the pilot's fold. family's campaign to clear a war


hero's name. I think an injustice was done. The should be put right.


And getting hotter about the otter. Are they a wildlife success story


or a wildlife nightmare? When the fish have gone, what will it lead?


First tonight, if I was walking through these gardens last year, I


would have been knee-deep in water. You might remember those flash


floods we had back in August, but despite all that rain and today's


drizzle, some parts of the South are at serious risk of drought. The


experts say the warning signs were there as early as spring last year.


At the source of the River Itchen, the spring that fed the famous for


chalk stream ran dry. Later in the year when sea-trout should have


been spawning upstream, lack of water meant they were stuck in


coastal harbours. And only last month boat owners found themselves


stranded on the Kennet and Avon canal went level stop to their


lowest in 90 years. Here at this reservoir, where rebels are at a


record low. Is the South running out of water? Everyone remembers


the and the summer of 1976, the But there was a flipside. A drought


that almost emptied reservoirs and rivers and caused fires, triggered


hosepipe bans and standpipes across the south. More than 30 years on,


surely we should be more prepared for a drought? That could never


happen again, could it? This reservoir should befall at this


time of year but it is not. The pumping station has been left high


and dry. This really tells the story. Water levels should be up


there? It should be at that line there. We should be four metres


underwater. We should be completely submerged. You join the water board


in 1976, is this the worst it has ever been? Yes. There reservoir has


just 30 % of the water it should have and the area is officially on


drought alert. How has this happened? There is no tropical heat


wave, why are levels down? If we look back from October 2010-2011,


this is the driest period we have had since 1976. It is unprecedented.


How much whether do we need to rectify the problem? We would need


to have at least above average rainfall until early mid- spring


period. Unless we get that, things will be very different. Because of


the severity of the shortage, the Environment Agency must allow South


East Water Authority to top up its reservoirs by extracting water from


nearby streams and rivers. But this comes at a cost to wildlife and the


environment. Here we go, what do you make of it? For January it is


extremely low, he should be to for at high at least. Normally in


winter we should not be able to do this without getting wet. Very wet.


Are you surprised by how low it is? I am quite surprised and alarmed by


it and how it will affect the fish and the fishing for us anglers.


Many rivers along the South Coast are renowned breeding grounds for


sea trout. This time of year the sea water should be deep enough for


them to travel upstream and lay their eggs but it is not. The sea-


trout which live in the sea and come back in the autumn, have not


come up the rivers because there has not been enough fresh water to


trigger them to come up. The fish are getting stuck by them in the


estuaries waiting to come up and then it will be too late for them


to spawn. There is a whole spawning season last, that is a generation


of trout last. This is not just happening here, we have been to the


source of the River Itchen as well and it is dry. That has ben not


flowing for 18 months. We just need rain, rain. We also have the issue


of extraction. They have got to find other ways of finding water.


Whether it be reservoirs or not, I do not know. Is it too easy for the


water companies to extract water? It is the easiest source of water,


yes. Back in the 1990s, the river Levant used to hit the headlines


when it flooded in the winter months. This is it today. Nothing


is flowing because the ground water levels are too low. It is these


under water supplies that water companies rely on, particularly in


times of drought and here at West Dean College, the Environment


Agency used an old world to monitor how low the levels have dropped.


put a metre down the well and when it hits the water, there will be a


beeping noise which indicates it has hit the bottom. What is the


implication of a low-level here? means they could be problems for


extractors who rely on water for their business needs. It also means


that river flows well below. We would rather it be a brimming but


the longer that takes to beat, it means the water level is low and


that is a concern for us because the levels are much lower than they


should be this time of year. There we go. It looks like it is about


five metres 46, probably at least a couple of metres lower than it


should be. Aside from praying for rain, solving any water shortage is


a complex problem. How do you best protect the environment and take


less water from our rivers while meeting the demands of a growing


population? The government recently published a White Paper that calls


for water companies to rely less on taking supplies from our rivers and


instead look elsewhere to top up shortfalls. The extraction regime


was set up in the 1960s when we never used words like climate


change. We now have to be resilient and you'll see more of a flow of


water from water rich areas to water port areas, but trading is


very much a feature of the policy we have announced. The most


important immediate change of we want to see is the heavens open and


rain to resolve problems we will face this summer if we do not get


that. Today the average person uses 150 litres of water each day and


the utility companies are going to great lengths to encourage us to


cut back our consumption. As well as giving us a variety of water-


saving devices, they hope the Stourton metres will be the biggest


incentive for households to cut back. We hope to save 25 million


litres of water a day across the company. For the householder in


terms of their use of water, do you know how much it will cut their


usage? Customers on average they save about 10 % of their water.


has to be done, we have to change attitudes to this never ending


supply of water which we are fast learning is not never ending.


a finite resource and we have to ensure we have enough water for the


environment and our customers. The population is increasing, the


demand is increasing. Installing meters will curb demand and it is


the fairest pay -- way to pay. have to tackle the root cause of


this problem. We are consuming more water than is going to the


underground water table. We have to cut our consumption of water and


that means using water far more efficiently in our buildings,


industry and having political well to address this problem.


Conservation is on Mac thing but we still need lots of rain to stop the


water shortage. But the weather is in the lap of the guards. For some


the point of no return is living. This fishing lake on the River Test


is at critical levels. consequences would be that it will


go down so low, the oxygen will be so depleted it cannot sustain life.


The Environment Agency went on an emergency basis take the fish out


and put them elsewhere. With the fish taken out, there is nothing,


no reason for people to join an angling club. We want if we


possibly can to sustain our Angling Club for future generations.


think climate change is inevitable. Dry winters, warmer summers,


probably less of rain. Customers have to play their part in


conserving that resource. I see a disaster coming but nature does


repair and we have to bear that in mind. Nature may well repaired this


but it may be too late. Fingers crossed for a bit of decent


rain. While we are in Bournemouth, let me tell you about one night


which changed people's lives for ever and it happened but far from


here. The relatives of a World War II pilot whose aircraft crashed


killing nine people have been battling to clear his name. They


say it was mechanical failure and not pilot error which brought down


his Halifax bomber. Nine team 40s Bournemouth was a


place to escape the war. Its beaches and gardens a haven of


tranquillity and to one night the war came crashing in. It was


obvious we were going to die and I just felt for the pilot, try and


save it. I think their chances were slim as soon as they encounter


difficulties. Hell incarnate had come to that part of the world


unexpectedly. March 1944, a Halifax bomber takes off from Hurn


Aerodrome just outside Christchurch. At the control it is an RAF pilot,


Dennis Evans. The seven-man crew are on a secret mission to Morocco


but they would never arrive. He was very skilled because he would not


have been chosen for special operations even though he was very


young. The reason he was selected was he was a natural pilot. But all


the experience in the world could never have prepared Dennis Evans


for what was to happen. The take- off phase is the most critical


phase. The aircraft needs to achieve a certain speed to get


airborne and then to climb away from the ground, it needs to


maintain that speed. If you were to have any problems, loss of thrust,


in that take-off phase of flight your options are limited. It rose


to around 200 ft and then it seemed to dip. That is in the initial


reports say something happened early on. Meanwhile, on the ground,


Russell Barnes was woken by the sound of the plane. I could hear an


aircraft coming towards us. It was making a peculiar noise, one of the


engines would roll and scream. And then it would splutter and then go


silent. I cannot see any reason that you as the pilot would be


increasing power and reducing power, so it suggests that there is some


sort of mechanical issue with the aircraft. The pilot were struggling


with the controls, that was obvious. He was flying an aircraft that was


in serious engineering problems. It was obvious we were going to die. I


just felt for the pilot as he was coming in. Try and save it, try and


save it and then the banger came and it was all over. Very brave of


him. When I heard he was 20, just five years older than me, it


On impact, the aircraft flipped onto its back. The fuel tanks


exploded. The seven crew on board stood no chance and the they did


the two civilians sleeping in their beds.


One of those was Dorothy Bennett. At the time, her daughter Margaret


was down the corridor of preparing to go to bed. There was a bump and


then the curtains were on fire and I started to run towards the


bedroom. The next thing I knew, I was coming round and I was holding


on to the door. I could not have been out for very long. There was a


second explosion. Or the aircraft's fuel tanks had ignited. The room my


mother was in, the ceiling came down. There was nothing there. As I


said at the time, if that was going to happen, it was good to go at


once. You would never survive a fire like that. It was extremely


powerful. It must have been a complete seen off the devastation.


There is no other way of describing it. Hell incarnate as it were, come


to that part of the world. This tragedy could not have come at a


worse time as all along the south coast, preparations were being made


for D-Day. Accidents like this on home ground just could not happen.


This was big news and a public relations disaster for the MoD. It


seems the default position was to blame the pilot. I think, it is


innocent until proven guilty. If they did not have the evidence, how


could they say, it was pilot error? In the official documents, the MoD


did blame pilot Dennis Evans and ignored any possibility of a engine


failure. Is there any mention of ancient


fire in the official report? There was a comment by the police


who said he saw the aircraft a light in the sky before it crashed.


At the MoD also chose to ignore her a catalogue of mechanical errors


that came to light at the inquest into Margaret Bennett's mother.


were told it had had trouble and they had mended it and said it was


all right to fly. There was a question about whether the RAF


agreed that it was all right to fly. There was a feeling it should not


have grown at all. What have we got here? Your treasured photos. Yes,


my brother. Evelyn Cleverly is part of a growing campaign group to get


the MoD to re-examine the evidence. For handsome chap, is he not? He


really was. Her brother Henry was navigator on board. In the days


leading up to the tragedy, he had doubts about the plane's


airworthiness. A every night, he wrote to his wife, saying the play


was not ready, there was something wrong. -- the plane. There was


doubt about a play that all through that week. One of his doubts could


have been about the Halifax's rudder which was acknowledged to be


a recurring problem and one which the manufacturers were trying to


fix. If the rudder had blocked, there was nothing he could do. The


only way out of that rudder lock on a Halifax was to dive for something


like 4,000 feet to be able to compensate for the lock. He only


had a few hundred feet. There was no chance. Evelyn Cleverly feels


that the pilot should be remembered as a hero who did everything he


could to prevent loss of life. think that poor pilot, he was only


20 years old. He suddenly would find he could not -- he had not got


a plane that would respond to him. I do not know, my own thoughts are


he probably tried to turn to get back to Hurn Aerodrome or perhaps


crash in the water. If he could have got to the seat, that might


have been possible. Those last two minutes,, those last months have


given me a lot of sadness. On the site of the crash, a memorial


stands to remember those who died. All other friends and relatives now


want is for the official record to be set straight. It does not matter


whether it was 60 years ago or last week. An injustice has been done.


They should be put right. They got it seriously wrong. This young man


had an aircraft with a major fault and he was stuck with it.


should they get away with blaming a young man who was clearly very


brave and volunteered to do this work and turning round and giving


him a piece of machinery that was impossible to fly? If there was


something wrong with the aircraft, it was not his fault. Finally, it


has been a success story, though the introduction otters to the


south's rivers. Not everybody is happy.


I love this ballet. I have been coming here for 70 years. -- valley.


It is one of the most beautiful valleys in England. Richard has


been fishing for Barbour on this stretch of the Avon since he was a


boy. -- bottle. But something is disturbing his peace of mind.


river used to be in the top five rivers in the country. Sadly, it


would not be in the top 100 now. You are not catching as many fish


question of no. What is causing this downturn? Cormorants and


otters. The halt fishing stock has been decimated. The otters will eat


anything and everything. They are like a fox in a chicken house. His


magnificent to see one out there but there are too many of them.


some, the increase in otter numbers is great news. Like Chris Wood who


had an unexpected encounter near Plymouth. Fantastic. It was two


years old. I have never seen one before. It was excellent. Amazingly,


Chris filmed his otter calmly emerging from the room up of the


garden centre where he worked. got my phone out and filmed it.


Then it went down and ran through the coffee shop outside. It went


off into the distance. My baby it's a young one. It was amazing. -- may


be at the young one. It came up to where we are now. It is weird


because there are roads in the way,. Could rotters -- what has been a


widespread? They but almost disappeared 50 years ago. The main


culprit was pesticides. These pesticides were in otters. That


would divide over much of the UK, to be honest. That was in a fairly


short space of time. Are they were numerous now? Are a lot more


numerous. A lot of pesticides were removed over a period of time. The


otter population has responded and they have recovered as their food


supply has become less contaminated. This recovery will inevitably have


some impact on fishing. Some anglers feel their concerns are not


being taken seriously. There are concerns a small number of may even


be shooting this highly protected species. We know there is a legal -


- and illegal killing of otters taking place. What we are aware of


may be the tip of the iceberg. Where do you get creditors


conflicting with people's a personal interest, you will get


people to take the law into their own hands. We could do that. It is


irresponsible. We know we goes on, however. The killing of otters is


condemned by anglers. Martin Bowler is one of the country's top


professionals. He does point out feelings are running high. There


have been calls for some radical action. There are rumours of


anglers taking the law into their own hands and getting guns out.


think that is wrong. You need to understand desperate people, their


livelihoods are going. I am not calling for any kind of Carl on


otters whatsoever. If that would be the worst PR possible. We are in a


no-win situation. It is desperate. The angling community is dead. It


would be fair to say they are split, too. -- scared. They do not know


the right way forward. A Martin believes are the daughters'


recovery has not been a natural one. Are they have been put back into


our rivers. -- otters' recovery. They are offering the ecosystem out


of balance. Is there any truth in the rumour that wildlife


sanctuaries are breeding otters and releasing them? I have come up to


it that Secret World Wildlife Rescue Centre near Burnham-on-Sea


in Somerset. His name is Otto. He has been with us since he was about


400 grams, very tiny. How did he end up here? He came from


Lincolnshire. Some people saw two otter cubs and were concerned about


it. They were told to leave them alone. That is quite right. He was


so tiny, however and the other one was very lethargic so we suggested


they pick it up. Do you breed otters? We do not breed otters, no.


I have contact with wildlife hospitals all over the centre --


the country and I do not know anyone reading them. It is just


once we Pickup that, usually through human intervention, the


mother gets killed and the cups are found. You are talking about 20 to


30 animals a year over the whole of Great Britain. He is not just


anglers on the river banks who are getting hot under the collar. For a


still water fishery owner, otters could be bad for business. Some of


rich and's specimen of carp are worth �1,000 each. We have had fish


killed and site. I found an of today near to the fishery. That had


been released from an RSPCA centre. This was a big animal. Over 3 ft in


length. I felt it was released to close to my fishery and without


consultation with the authorised bodies. The RSPCA were not able to


comment on Richard's case but their guidelines say they should find a


location for releasing otters what is the most suitable to enable


their survival. Despite all the evidence, anglers need a lot more


convincing that otters are recovering naturally. We bought the


Environment Agency's top experts to meet Martin Bowler and there was a


heated discussion. You cannot deny politicians are also quick to come


out, so quick to come out as soon as an otter has been found. There


is nothing wrong with the Government celebrating the fact


that our top predator is back. What will it be? It will take


everything... This is an Armageddon type view. It is clear this is an


argument that is not going to be resolved just yet. It is the end of


the day's fishing and Richard did not catch a thing. But then he did


not spot an otter either. Whatever the true reason for the decline of


fish, he says fishing he just isn't what it used to be. I still love it


and I still come here even though why catch nothing. The fish are not


here to be caught. That is all from us. I will see you


next Monday. More than two years after Joanna Lumley's victory is


beginning to Ghurka families the right to live in Britain, one army


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