Death of rivers campaigner

Salisbury Journal: Brian Marshall Brian Marshall

ONE of the south’s leading campaigners in the angling world has died.

Brian Marshall lived in Ringwood for many years with his wife Pat.

He was chairman of the Wessex Salmon and Rivers Trust and was well-known in the area for his untiring work to stop the decline of the Avon and its tributaries.

He died in Essex on November 17.

He came to live in Ringwood more than 15 years ago to be near his beloved Avon but his love of the river went back to the 1960s, when he used to travel to the river to fish for coarse fish and salmon, often staying at the famous “anglers’ hotel”, the Bull Hotel in Downton.

He was a countryman through and through, being a farmer and working in agriculture from an early age on the Somerset Levels.

One of Mr Marshall’s biggest campaigns was fighting to get the Irish Government to accept that the Irish drift netting industry was seriously damaging salmon stocks in southern England as the salmon were being netted before they could reach the southern rivers to spawn.

He came up with the idea of using EU legislation to force the Irish Government to close drift netting and was successful after a lengthy battle.

In 2008 he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the CLA Game Fair.

John Levell, from Somerley Estate in Hampshire, said Mr Marshall had done more to highlight the plight of Wessex rivers than any other person in the past 30 years.

He said: “I have lost a close friend and mentor. His passing has left a gaping hole in our riverine world which I doubt will ever be filled.”

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