2013 – February Flows

2013 – February Flows
In recent weeks, the description of the Misbourne as having an Upper Section, a Lower Section and a Bit In The Middle has been very well illustrated.  The winterbourne has been coming to life above Little Missenden and now all the way to the “source” at Mobwell Pond with uninterrupted flow from there down to well through Chalfont St Giles before dwindling away.  Meanwhile, the springs around Chalfont St Peter tennis courts have returned and generated flow through the village.  The gap in between has been steadily shrinking as the springs at the head of the lower section crawl up the valley and the tail of the upper section creeps further down until today they are just about joined up and we have a continuous river for the first time since July 2011.  Groundwater levels are just about as high as they’ve been for five years, as can be seen from the various graphs  and John Norris’ detailed weather records on the website.


Making its way back across the  fields between the Chalfonts.

Our first work day in 2013 was very rewarding.  We were lucky with the weather and had six small teams spread along the valley.  It is very pleasing to find how much more quickly and easily we can work through a stretch now compared with when we first started.  Even where there was no flow at all last year, the benefit of our earlier efforts has been clear.  However, there is still much we can do and with every chance of good flow for a long period this year, we will have a long section to nurture.

The faithful few really could do with some more support from the silent majority!  As always, every little helps and if, for instance, you would prefer to do a stint one afternoon rather than in the morning, please let me know.  Even a hand with clearing up, taking stuff to the tip, sorting bottles and cans for recycling, etc. would be welcome – it took 2 of us till 5.00 p.m. last time.  Other ideas for spreading the load include someone to take on washing the HiVis and gloves – any volunteers?  Speaking of kit, if anyone has any old but serviceable rakes, bill hooks, brush hooks, seccateurs, HiVis they would like to pass on, we would be pleased to take them off your hands.

Of course, we can only do our best to optimise what flow there is and, without the rains of the past few months, we couldn’t have created the current situation.   Nevertheless, we are obviously making a difference and also gathering general support that “something must be done” to ensure regular and increased flow.  Discussions regarding Affinity Water’s plans for several recharge points seem to have gone behind closed doors at present, but we hope for some good news when an update on the consultant’s proposals are released for consultation – hopefully in March.

Our next “not-a-meeting” (i.e. general natter over drink about matters riverine and not) will be at The Ivy House on Tuesday 19th March at 7.45 p.m. – all welcome.  The next work party is Saturday 23rd March – please let me know if you can join us.   We have plenty of big and small tasks to keep a really bumper turn-out busy sustaining the river flow and improving the environment along its corridor.  If you are already otherwise engaged on that date, do note the next one after that is Sunday 28th April!



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