2016 – February Features

2016 – February Features

We hope you have enjoyed a happy and healthy winter break from Misbourne matters and my waffling.

True, we have had a lot of rain recently; although nothing compared with many poor souls in other parts. January rainfall in the Chalfonts was some 130% of average and some places in the Chilterns had over 150%. However, what you might find a little surprising is that local 12 month totals are only some 82% of average and, with lacklustre dip levels most of the way through last year, 2016 begins with fairly even odds as to whether or not we can maintain flow through to another December. March’s measurements will be all important but if you fancy a flutter now, do get in touch. Meanwhile, all looks well and the source is seasonally moving back upstream towards Misbourne Abbey. Flows through the Chalfonts are strong, channels are generally clear and especially on a frosty sunny day the river provides a really attractive background to a walk in the fresh air.

Generally, these pages avoid lobbying in one direction or other on political matters or advertising pet projects. Nevertheless, I would just ask you to consider responding to the consultation regarding various areas under review as potential sites for development between now and 2036 at http://www.southbucks.gov.uk/planning/localplan2014-2036 Clearly, for our councils and government to meet housing demands, not all areas can be preserved as they are and our councillors have to ascertain and put forward the “least worst” options. But one of the very most unsuitable seems to me to be the Mill Meadow area in Chalfont St Peter – indicatively infilling between the backs of Fieldway all the way across the river to the A413. Many readers will recognise this encompasses the children’s play area, two lots of allotments, the football ground, the playing fields, Millennium Wood, the Community Centre, the Scout Hut and Council Offices, the river and wetlands area with adjacent much used walks, etc: – in short a hugely important amenity area, part of the remaining lungs of the village ………… and lots of it subject to flooding and allegedly on the site of previous landfill! If you look at the consultation plan, the logic of a line “straightening up” this corner of the village is obvious but it is up to us to ensure the implications are well understood.

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Having said “we don’t do political”, I don’t want to upset any republicans among you but there is a campaign called “Clean for The Queen” launched by Country Life magazine in partnership with Keep Britain Tidy to clear up Britain in time for The Queen’s 90th birthday focused on March 4th, 5th, 6th. CStP and possibly other Parish Councils are getting behind this and it seemed a good rallying call for our first outing of the year. So, we will have a work-party on Saturday 5th March. Quite likely, we will be working in a number of locations, including CStG but certainly at St Peter, removing last years dead growth, springing alder, brambles etc., all to improve the glimpses of the river from the Greyhound towards the tennis court and especially around and upstream of the Community Centre. Please let me know if you can join us, even if just for an hour or so and whether morning (from 09.30) or afternoon (from 2.00) or both. As usual, I will send out a note near the time with suggested groupings etc. to all those who sign up. On Thursday 3rd, we will have a “not-a-meeting” informal chat about river stuff in the Merlin’s Cave, Chalfont St Giles from 7.45 p.m. – all welcome.

Future work days are pencilled in for Sat 02 April, Sat 07 May, Sun 05 June, Sat 02 Jul, Sun 31 Jul, Sat 03 Sep, Sat 08 Oct, Sun 20 Nov – all to be confirmed or revised nearer the time as circumstances dictate. Maybe, there are some who would prefer workdays were on a weekday from time to time – please let me know. Also, most importantly, our 9th Annual Dinner will be Thursday 15th December – please put in diaries now!

Finally, behind the scenes, we have a new exciting contact with Kingshill Beavers, Cubs and Scouts who are hoping to work with us in a few weeks near Great Missenden and, with Chiltern Conservation Board, we are exploring opportunities for joint studies with Brunel University.

Looking forward to seeing you in or near the river soon

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