2014 – October Optimism

2014 – October Optimism
1) We had more e-mails regarding the October work party than ever before.  While most were along the lines of “dreadfully sorry we can’t be with you this time, but hope we can make the next one”, I take comfort from the obvious conclusion that the next one is going to be a sell-out –  see 7) below.

2) The notion of advertising separate morning and afternoon sessions worked well, enabling a number to attend who could not have done if we’d settled on one or the other: to be continued.  The results were good, enabling us to complete unfinished sections between the Chalfonts from the month before as well as some tidying in both village centres.

3) As we all know, groundwater levels at the beginning of the year were exceptionally high all along the valley (and are still high in the upper reaches).  However, the usual update of the graphs on the website  – see http://www.misbourneriveraction.org/node/18  – shows that levels are now near normal from Shardeloes downstream and well below those of 2008.  Yet, unlike even 2008, we still have good flow with little sign of the river losing its way in swamps along the road.  Dare we think we have actually achieved something?

4) Our good name has spread a little further and we were approached by the company Avison Young, based in Little Hamden, to help them meet a corporate edict “to put something back into The Community”.  The result was a really great morning the other day working along the 400 yards from Bottom House Farm Lane to Arklow Kennels, particularly redefining the channel through the debris in the wood and reducing some of the season’s growth.  Their warm letter of appreciation included  “…………….. thank you for yesterday – not only for helping us obtain our goal of “giving” back to the community but leaving us with a real sense of achievement.  We all came away feeling that we had really “done our bit” ………………….Thank you once again for a wonderful experience and an insight into what you volunteers are doing – you have our full admiration……” , which was nice!


5) Affinity Water’s proposals for AMP6 – 2015 to 2020 – have been re-affirmed by Offwat in its draft determination.  This means that the anticipated reduction in abstraction is now reasonably secure.  Incidentally, while significant in periods of low flow, the 5 or so Mld extra water left in the Misbourne valley is insignificant compared with typical winter flows of more than 30 Mld, so it will not create additional flood risk.

6)  More good news!  We find that The Ivy House is re-inventing itself as a decent pub under the new ownership of “Alfie” following its recent disastrous dalliance with modernism and bad beer.  We’ll give it a “go” for a future “not-a-meeting” as we used to.

7)  Which brings me neatly to Future Programme:
“Not-a-meeting” at The Greyhound on Thursday 30th October from 7.45 p.m. – all welcome.  
Work Parties Saturday November 8th at 09.30 and 2.00 p.m.  Please let me know if you can join us and for which (or both) and I will send details in due course.
Annual End of Season/Christmas Dinner at The Greyhound on Tuesday December 16th.  Cost (excluding bar) will be £23 per person for 2 courses, £27 for 3.  Thanks to those who have booked already – please let me know as soon as you can if you can join us for what is always an enjoyable night.  

By the way, talking to one of our most staunch supporters from the sidelines the other day, it became clear that her impression of our “not-a-meetings” seemed to be that there were lots of us propping up the bar in a blokeish sort of way, basking in tales of deep mud and fallen trees.  As I assured her, this really isn’t the case – numbers are generally small and seated, conversation is civilised and wide ranging, not always river related, (though last time it was interesting to spend some time discussing planned improvements to the river by Tesco at Amersham) and it is pleasant to meet and chat with like-minded people.  I do look forward to her, (and her husband), joining us on Thursday 30th and hope you will too!  As one recent attendee puts it “……………..to share interest and sociability.  We can’t have all work and no play!”


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