2011 – November News & Annual Dinner

The degree of the current near drought in our area was brought home to me on Thursday at an excellent talk by Allen Beechey of The Chiltern Conservation Board to The River Chess Association.  While lamenting our wanton waste of precious water – Bucks has the highest per capita water consumption in Europe! – Allen sympathetically described the real issues faced by the authorities – EA, Veolia, Government – in trying to balance increasing populations, decreasing resources, money and the environment.  Clearly, although beneficial and worthwhile targets, substantial changes in our habits, a further significant reduction in abstraction, and the good work of MRA (or The River Chess Association) cannot possibly reverse the consequences of this extended period of low rainfall by themselves.

Regular readers of John Norris’s statistics presented monthly in the “Dipping Records” and “The Misbourne Strikes Back” files on the MRA website “Facts & Figures” pages will already know that annual cumulative rainfall is amongst the lowest on record and that groundwater levels are exceptionally low.  For instance, Bottom House Farm now some 10 metres below bed level compared with 4 metres in November 2008.  A sobering long term observation is that it appears that the annual recharge period – i.e. when groundwater levels have an upward as opposed to a downward trend – is becoming shorter.

So, let us hope for a wet winter and soon! – (but not, perhaps, as wet as that of 2000/2001 which many but will recall brought extensive flooding to the area.)  Meanwhile, we   look forward to discussing with Veolia and others the consultants’ report due for draft issue in February on the recent reduced abstraction and/or augmentation of flow trials.

A rather small but, nevertheless cheerful and productive, work party last week made good progress with seasonal clearance at Bottom House Farm and through Chalfont St Giles village area.  We will shortly be working with EA on removal of an old weir behind Deep Mill Diner at Great Missenden – date tba: strong arms needed please.

Anyway, the main point of this circular is to confirm that owing to popular request, we will be having an MRA Annual Dinner and it will be on Wednesday December 14th,  Venue is to be confirmed depending on final numbers. Typical menus in the area at likely places are up to about £17 for two courses, £20 for 3.  Please let me know by next Thursday if you would like to join us for what has always been a very enjoyable, friendly and fun evening.


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