ENVIRONMENTAL groups were forced to call an urgent meeting after concerns were raised over the destruction of wildlife.

Work performed by the Canal and Rivers Trust (CRT) on the Kennet and Avon Canal between Reading and Newbury is feared to have caused ‘considerable damage’.

Martin Salter, Angling Trust chief, has written to the CRT to vent his frustration after vital cover for fish was removed without proper consultation with local groups.

He said: “We don’t want our member clubs to be caught out again, nor do we want to see fish habitat needlessly destroyed.

“There is no earthly reason why 35-metre wide stretches of river, such as the Kennet at Theale and Burghfield, need every bush, branch and twig sheared off level with the edge of the bank.”

The scale of the project was downgraded as a result of the meeting.