In July 2009, John Hughes, the founder and inspiration behind Friends of Rivers, passed away.
John was a keen fisherman all his life, and the River Asker flowed through the land on which
his house stood in Loders near Bridport in Dorset.
Around the millenium, he began setting out his vision for the Brit River System - that all the obstacles on the Asker, Brit, Mangerton Brook and Simene be modified, through the installation of fish ladders and other means, to allow the unimpeded migration of fish - notably salmon and sea trout - from the sea to the traditional breeding grounds denied to them for centuries following the construction of weirs to provide water power for all types of milling.
Such was his energy that he gathered around him a group of enthusiastic people from the local community - fishermen and non-fishermen alike - and with his customary no-nonsense approach enlisted the support of likeminded groups of people pursuing similar aims in the West Country and, finally, the Environment Agency.
Sadly, he will not now see the results of his pioneering efforts which only now are coming to fruition, but his work continues and will be a testament to his memory.
The weir at Loders, "Loders Steps":