2015 – November Notes

See attached flyer for the Chiltern Society River & Wetlands Group Meeting this coming Saturday morning – good and relevant speakers for anyone interested in the well being of the River Misbourne.

Numbers are still growing for our Annual Dinner now confirmed at The Greyhound on December 15th but there is still room for plenty more of you to come and enjoy a night out with like minded folk and for yours to join their similarly long suffering partners. Price will be £27 for 3 courses (or £23 for 2 courses). Please let me know in the next month – why not do it now??? – if you would like to join us and I will send out menus etc. in due course.

Another successful work party last weekend completed winter clearing of the leat and some tidying at clogged fences along the valley and some local tidying at Chalfont St Peter. That ends our main efforts for the year with a pretty good situation all the way from Arklow Kennels though to Gerrards Cross Golf Course. As a result, flow has just about kept going with occasional blips. The reason for these odd “blips” of just a few hours or a day of no flow is a bit of a mystery. Some believe it may be due to fluctuation in abstraction causing a ripple in the groundwater level as it travels down the valley. I’m not so sure about that as, in general, any flow in the Chalfonts is “perched”. However, if it is abstraction related, that is effectively good news because it means that the modest reductions in abstraction planned by 2020 should have a noticeable effect at marginal flow times such as now. Any comments, anyone?

It’s been a busy month for many local groups and individuals as they present their petitions to the HS2 Select Committee on HS2. Several are, of course, citing the need for mitigation to ensure that construction, particularly tunnelling under and near the river, does not damage the river. It is well known that the chalk below the river is extensively fissured and also contains a profusion of clay-filled pipes and swallow holes. Any movement along these features will increase the overall porosity of the ground and exacerbate the tendency of the bed to leak. In my view, preventative mitigation in the form of environmentally friendly bed reinforcement is readily available and could be easily applied through particularly sensitive sections such as the crossing points of HS2 and the river at Chalfont St Giles and Little Missenden and in the disturbed area of the old sewage works near Cokes Lane.

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