2009 – August – River update

Residents of Chalfont St Peter may be a little disappointed by the lack of any flow at present.  However, I am personally surprised and delighted by how well the river is holding up through Chalfont St Giles in this our first year.  There is flow well into the sheep fields downstream of the village.  A small number of small trout appear to be resident by the pond and, upstream by the ford in Mill Lane, we’ve seen more than 20 in one “shoal”.  Particularly pleasing through CStG is the way in which silt is being gradually washed away revealing the gravel bed and, incidentally, emphasising the importance of keeping the channel narrow and sinuous.  I do like the little riverside path that Brian and his trusty scythe have begun downstream of the church creating a wonderful spot for bird-watching.

At Chalfont St Peter, Caroline and friends, family + others have made a good job of preparation for future flow between Scout’s bridge and Community Centre, Dave and Richard took the opportunity of dry access to clear out – plastic chairs, bottles, brambles – downstream of the precinct and last, but absolutely not least, Ray and his weekday team have been steadily clearing nettles and preparing for grass and wild flowers near the Vic Wotton Bridge.   I believe that we are about to receive the go ahead at last to remove the adjacent redundant fence and there is even a little stirring towards relocation of the Hay Warden’s compound.  (Apologies to everyone else who has worked hard but I haven’t mentioned by name!).

At the macro level, our MP Cheryl Gillan met with senior Environment Agency officers and The Chiltern Society at Westminster to discuss our plans and secured cautious approval for the initial works we propose at the Mill Leat and near the Amersham Road Balancing Tanks.  The first stage is an environmmental survey – a normal requirement for most projects, let alone ones in such sensitive areas.  It is to be hoped that this will be put in hand within the next few weeks.  Meanwhile The Chiltern Society Exec Committee has created a sub-committee to manage the Project and a Steering Group, to include local council representatives etc, will be convened shortly.

Following our success at Chalfont St Peter Feast Day, we will be present at Chalfont St Giles Show on Saturday 5th September.  Please let me know as soon as possible if you can spare say 40 mins on the day to chat with prospective punters.

Do you think it would be nice to arrange some sort of social event for MRA?  Maybe a Barn Dance or Quiz or …………..?  And, most importantly, if we did, would you come?

I have booked the Jolly Farmer room for this Tuesday for a “not a meeting”.  Do come along if you fancy a drink and unstructured chat with occasional reference to MRA and forthcoming activities etc.

Our next Work Party day is scheduled for next Saturday – 8th August.  We will decide what to tackle on Tuesday evening and I will drop another note round afterwards.  However, to help put our thoughts together, please let me know asap if you expect to be joining us.


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