NACA's salt dump campaign started during the summer of 1989 by pure chance and a very observant member of the public. We were invited to Norfolk's biggest Country Fare held in the picturesque grounds of Holkham Hall Country Park situated on the North Norfolk Coast. The Naca stand featured a large display on the decline of the Norfolk's rivers and broads.
That afternoon an elderly gentleman said, after careful contemplation of our display, "you know why there's no fish in the River Wensum below Fakenham. It's that bloody great salt dump by the Norwich Road". He went on to explain how, when it rained, the road salt was leaching into a drain, then into a ditch which emptied into the Wensum. He even mentioned how he had tasted the salt in the river, now that's dedication. This raised a few Naca eyebrows so much so that our membership secretary visited the salt dump on his way home.
At the next Naca committee meeting he reported a great mountain of salt by the Norwich Road near Fakenham and that's not all there were numerous similar salt mountains through out our county ready for the onslaught of the coming winter. That evening the decision was made to launch a naca campaign against these salt dumps, with the emphasis on getting the Fakenham one moved. Initially the response was good the local newspaper reported that due to Naca pressure the council was intending to move the Fakenham Salt Dump to a new location. Unfortunately this never happened but what did happen was that salt dumps were by now covered with tarpaulines held in place by old vehicle tyres. The salt leaching from the dumps was now minimised but unfortunately still happening and polluting the local environment.
Naca has continued lobby local authorities on the unsatisfactory salt dump situation in our county and at last we got a result. We had a telephone call from one of our members reporting that the Fakenham Salt dump was completely uncovered and open to the elements. We contacted the County Council who informed us that the salt was being moved to a new purpose built Salt Barn. Salt Barn! More like a mini Millennium Dome and not just one, there has been three built so far and a further four more to be constructed this year. The construction of the Norfolk Domes consists of a cast concrete base and walls which support the timber dome roof .
Recently Constructed Salt Barn at Aylsham pic
A £7.5million Private Finance Initiative between Norfolk County Council and Salt Union has now ensured that road salt in Norfolk is stored in an environmentally manner. It's a pity it's taken twelve years to achieve it! Never the less all concerned bodies should be congratulated on whats been achieved. For our part Naca's campaign against the leaching salt dumps of Norfolk was worth all the effort . We would like to thank our members for keeping us informed on the county wide salt dump situation over the years. Special thanks to the old gentleman who visited our stand that Sunday afternoon at the country fair. I'm sure, on hearing this news, he will look forward to the return of his beloved fish in the river near the site of the old salt dump. While the salt leachate must have played it's part in the decline of this particular part of the wensum the problem is much deeper. But that's another story and a reason for Naca to continue it's work in the conservation of our aquatic environment.