2013 – March Meanders

Alleluia and Yippee-dee-doo!  As I’m sure most of you will have seen, the river is flowing from top to bottom of the valley as strongly as it has done for many a year.   It is good to see that  it’s in good shape and running free almost everywhere from Amersham down, thanks in part to our efforts in the last four work days.

A couple of months ago, many people were asking me why there was no flow after so much rain and now we have lots of flow after rather less rain.   The answer to their questions and this conundrum is, of course, that it takes time for the rain to soak into the ground and percolate through the chalk of the Chilterns before emerging at the springs at the head of the valley.  The river only drains away a portion of the water in the hills and as the remainder seeps downhill, underground, the hydraulic gradient levels off and we see the groundwater level reach the surface and pools of standing water appear such as we currently have between Chalfont St Giles and St Peter.  It is important to recognise that these are in no way a result of the river overflowing – indeed, in these conditions, the better the river’s condition, the  more drainage it can provide.

After much to-ing and fro-ing a set of (not very elegant) minutes of our meeting HS2Ltd were agreed,  These and an abbreviated narrative are available on the website.  Hopefully, it has helped at least in a small way to ensure that any risks to the river and aquifer are really comprehensively addressed as the Environmental Impact Strategy is developed.

Thanks to those of you who have already let me know they can join us for our next work day on Saturday 23rd, please let me know if you can help too – even if you can only find an hour, any little helps.  Most people will work in the morning but there will be plenty to do if you prefer a stint after lunch.

We will be having our “not-a-meeting’ at The Ivy House next Tuesday evening 19th at 19.45hrs  – all welcome.

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