In answer to John Rastall's fine letter last week - yes we can improve the permeability of the land. Here at the Westcountry Rivers Trust we promote best farming practice that increases the permeability of poached land while providing economic benefits for land managers.
The Trust is the leading exponent of the ecosystem approach, a strategy for management of land, water and living resources that permits conservation and sustainable use in an equitable way.
The widening or deepening of rivers can adversely affect habitat. The use of 'sacrificial' land to hold water to be released over time may be a good solution. But remember that the land sacrificed was meeting the needs of the community and those who provide it must be compensated. We must also be careful not to release pollutants into our watercourses.
Bob Tarbuck, (M), commercial director, Westcountry Rivers Trust, email@example.com