2013 – July Jumbo Journal

2013 – July Jumbo Journal

Quite a lot of activity in the past few weeks; I will try to be as brief as possible:


  • As always, it was really good to see several of you at our stand at Chalfont St Peter Feast Day, to continue to receive lots of appreciation for all the work you do and to welcome a few new volunteers.
  • That nice feeling of being a valued part of the village was echoed by an invitation from the new owners of Budgens to a little reception they held to explore opportunities for greater engagement with village life, from which several thoughts emerged.
  • Following a preparatory discussion, the Chiltern Society, Chiltern Conservation Board and ourselves met with Affinity Water to review their Options Report on measures to alleviate low flows for possible funding in the next Offwat Water Management Plan 2015 – 2020.  It was a frank and useful discussion and good to gain a better understanding of the issues from a different perspective.  To be clear, there is no certainty that any Option recommended by Affinity will be accepted for funding by Offwat.  You are welcome to borrow a copy of the report from me – it is over a hundred pages long and actually a well constructed technical document pulling together a lot of sometimes conflicting data and considerations.  Essentially, the options discussed envisage one or a combination of the following:

    • Reducing abstraction by closing or reducing one or more of the 3 water supply pumping stations in the valley
    • Using treated effluent from either Maple Lodge or a new Amersham treatment works to augment flow in the river
    • Augmenting flow in the river by either diverting output from the existing water supply pumping stations or from new boreholes, e.g. at Chalfont St Peter
    • Bed channel lining
    • “Do nothing” which encouragingly is not considered a valid option.
With Capital estimates ranging across the Options from £2 million to £55 million and 25 year Operating estimates from £0.5 million to £9 million, cost is clearly a factor in the  assessment.  Others include rather subjective considerations of the benefit; even a rather bizarre suggestion that occasional drying-up is actually desirable.  We were able to see a way to support some of the relatively modestly costed and apparently practicable combinations.  We also made very clear our agreed position that our first requirement is for constant and continuous flow.  This will, at least keep the bed moist and less prone to leakage.  Our second is to press for a minimum flow of 2.5Ml/d and preferably more – e.g. 10Ml/d at Chalfont St Peter as originally proposed by Halcrow in 1988.  
We have until end of July to submit a formal observation.


  • We have talked again with HS2 and responded to the draft Environment Statement.  Concentrating simply on the risks to the river, our response leaves the politics to others.  However, my view is that having acknowledged there is a risk, to claim it will be mitigated by monitoring during and after construction is absurd.  To be fair, the more detailed local sections of the Draft Statement states that “further measures currently being considered but which are not yet part of the design include: ………………………….. and will present its findings in the formal ES.”  Our aim is to continue to press for measures – specifically bed lining 100 m either side of the tunnel crossing points – to be included within the design as pre-emptive mitigation.


  • Chalfont St Giles Show has kindly allocated some of their charity proceeds to us as has the Revitalisation Committee.  Following discussion with the Chalfont St Peter Parish Council we are considering purchase of one or more brush-cutters and other equipment with a view to MRA keeping a bit more control over the worst of the nettles in selected areas.

So, to business!  As always, those who helped at our last workday professed to have enjoyed themselves, did a lot of useful work and left feeling virtuous, fitter and satisfied.  However, there really wren’t enough of us to keep nature’s summer excesses at bay and you will have noticed the river is fading a little.  If we are to maintain it throughout this year, we need a super turnout on Sunday 28th July.  If you can give us some good support, target Projects will include easing the first 100m downstream of Mill Lane, clearing through the field just above Chalfont St Giles library, realigning the channel just above the church bridge, easing through to the first open field, cleaning from Water Hall to the tennis courts and much general tidying in Chalfont St Peter: in total plenty of fun for 30 – 40 of you.  If you can join us, morning or afternoon, for one hour or four, please let me know.

As an experiment we will try holding our “not-a-meeting” next Thursday 18th in Chalfont St Peter Budgens coffee shop at 19.45 p.m. Join us for a coffee and informal chat about any of the points mentioned above or just a sociable catch-up.

Chalfont St Giles Show is on 7th September: some help on the MRA stand will be welcomed please.

Would anyone, perhaps one of you unable to join our actual work party activities be willing to take on washing the HI-vis and gloves?

Does anyone have a shed or garage where we might keep some or all of the various equipment we have now acquired?

If you are still awake, well done!  I hope you enjoy the picture below.

 River Misbourne - June 2013 Chalfont St Giles.jpeg


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