2014 – March Moppings

2014 – March Moppings

A great deal, including much tosh, has been said and written both nationally and locally about the recent floods so I won’t bore you with too much more.  Clearly the inability of the storm drains and sewers to cope at Chalfont St Peter and the high groundwater levels at Chalfont St Giles have been the issues rather than river overflow but flows have been exceptionally strong.  Views from the A413 have been impressive and I hear that the Misbourne is rising above its normal high point source of Mobwell Pond.  Mill Lane remains a no-go area. Groundwater levels along the river are high, pressing on long term records: this months data is worth a glance – see MRA website “Quick View”.


           River Misbourne in February between The Chalfonts – often bemoaned as a dry section!

However, I cannot resist being slightly controversial.  The intensity and duration of the stormy weather and consequent flooding has undoubtedly exacerbated the real misery of those affected.  But the residents of Bolton in Lincolnshire where 150 houses were flooded on the night Nelson Mandela died must regret their poor timing and the lack of a really vocal MP or the NFU who have both ensured that the Somerset Levels (100 houses flooded) have never been far from the front pages.  In the flash floods of summer 2007 – do you remember them?? –  tens of thousands of homes in England and Wales (some reports say 55,0000) were flooded: the comparable figure for 2014 is around 5,500.  Lloyds Insurance does not consider the recent events to be a significant item and insurance companies are anticipating a bill of £1.2 billion compared with over £3 billion in 2007.

Wisely, our invertebrate monitoring team decided against wading in the rapids during February so there is no update to their report.  It is good to see the extent to which the river bed has been scoured by the high flow and it will be very interesting to see what effect the torrent and change in bed conditions will have on the bugs, beetles and fish.  Hopefully, the stony bed will also be less inviting to overgrowth of weeds, making life easier for us ….. and, also hopefully, not increase the bed leakage.

Flows are generally still too strong to comfortably work in and there remains a very small risk of sewage contamination in the river itself.  Nevertheless, there is much we can be doing and I hear some of you becoming restless.  We will therefore have a work party on Saturday 29th March.  For a change, we will start at 1.30 p.m. and our main targets, as usual dependant on turnout, will be 1) civilising the back stream at Chalfont St Peter 2) clearing some of last seasons dieback from the bank sides at CStP.  If the sewage risk has passed, we may also do a little clearing of debris from fences etc as well.  Please let me know as soon as possible if you can join us and I’ll send details near the time.

Finally, we will also have a “not a meeting” at The Greyhound on Thursday 27th March from 7.45 p.m. – all welcome for informal exchange of flood stories and semi-informed discussion of the authorities’ responses or other topics as you wish.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.