2014 – September Supplement

2014 – September Supplement

Yes, I know there have already been two mailings in September but one was August’s delayed and now, if I leave this till October, you will say you didn’t have enough notice of the Work Party on Sunday 5th October or, indeed,  the “not-a-meeting” on 30th September (though you could have looked on the website)

We did really well with our work party at the beginning of September, with four small groups opening up a good mile between the Chalfonts where thick weed was severely reducing flow and so encouraging losses through the bed.  We noticed some excellent examples of “poaching”.  This is the term given to the action of cattle which trample the water’s edge, making the “river” wider and wider and shallower.  This in turn causes silt deposition which encourages weed growth which slows the flow etc.  By simply clearing a narrow (but not straight) central channel, we were able to rapidly restore a small, fast flowing, narrow, often gravel bottomed stream leaving the marginal plants to thrive in the shallows.   The change in the flow in the evening through Chalfont St Peter following our efforts was quite noticeable.

It was lovely that so many of you came to say “Hi” at our stand at the Chalfont St Giles Show where, as usual, we found people very appreciative of all you do and, to be fair, more informed or quick to understand about the basics of chalk streams than I had anticipated.  We were delighted to pick up a good number of new members as well.

Last month, I mentioned a wish to do some work around Mill Lane at Amersham.  Here is a copy of a painting you may like of the Mill and bridge from about 1890.

Amersham Mill 1890.jpeg

A number of people have asked me to join in protests against the proposed Waste Transfer Station at the Amersham Dump, particularly on grounds of potential damage to the river and/or aquifer.   I’m sorry to disappoint but personally, in principle, I have no objection to it.  Indeed, I sympathise with a recent article in NCE about EF,  which this station would feed into, from which two tiny extracts “…the net effect – (of delays to constructing waste solutions) – is that we will continue to send our waste to the likes of Denmark, Sweden and Finland.  It is absurd that these countries are building new plants to accommodate our waste”  and “When you see these plants in action, you think ‘why weren’t they built ages ago?‘ …“You drive away thinking “what was all the fuss about?”.  With regard to the river and the aquifer I do not anticipate any harm but am following the proposals in detail and meeting with the prospective developer to satisfy myself that all practicable risk mitigation is adopted (e.g.in selection of foundation design, detailing of environmental drainage settlement lagoon and reed beds and, importantly, specification of construction restraints.)  I am hoping that we can, in fact, secure some betterment of the river habitat past the dump and also be involved in policing compliance.

Anyway, back to the beginning and things we can do something about:  our next work party is on Sunday 5th October.  After the success of last month’s afternoon session, we will make it nominally a 2.00 p.m. start.  However, if anyone would like make a morning group as well, I will happily put stashes of kit out for you for 9.30 a.m. as usual.  If you can make either (or both), please let me know and I’ll send you details of where and what at the end of the week.

Our next “not-a-meeting” is this coming Tuesday (30th) from 7.45 p.m. at The Greyhound.  All welcome for a drink and a natter – even a Waste Transfer debate!

Finally, please put in your diary now: our annual end of season/Christmas dinner will be at The Greyhound on Tuesday 16th December and let me know as soon as possible if you will be joining us for what is always a lovely, friendly, fun evening.


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