IN recent weeks, a number of residents in Strensall have complained about a farmer extracting water from the River Foss, the flow of which is at an all time low.

Enquiries with the Environment Agency revealed that the farmer concerned has a valid extraction licence.

However, whereas licences granted in recent years contain a clause which permits the Environment Agency to direct an end to extraction at times of low flow, this licence dates from the 60s, and does not contain this clause, so the farmer can continue to extract until the river is dry.

Further extraction is likely to harm the river environment.

Surely farmers should have to reapply periodically for extraction licences to allow for changing circumstances.

After all, when I hit 70, I have to reapply for my driving licence as circumstances change. Surely farmers should have to do the same.

Tony Fisher,

Liberal Democrat spokesman, Strensall Ward,

West End,

Strensall, York