2017 – January Jubilation

In December, we were surprised and disappointed that the Misbourne, having reached the beginning of November flowing all the way to the Colne, suddenly ceased in Chalfont St Peter. Well, it appears that the problem was most likely not down to the supernatural but a blockage upstream of Quarrendon Mill leading to much of the flow escaping into the fields. Allen Beechey, our guru from the Chilterns Conservation Board, reported that he had been in discussion with the landowners and tenant regarding the issue but that he, personally, had cleared the immediate problem in a few minutes. We noticed flow resume hesitantly through Chalfont St Peter at about that time and has been continuous since a few days later.

Assuming, as seems very likely, that this was the cause this is triple good news ! A) We have flow again. B) Our predictions based on groundwater levels and rainfall were not confounded. C) It is a really strong example of the impact of exactly the type of minor maintenance work that we have been undertaking for over 8 years. So we had plenty to celebrate at our 9th Annual Dinner. Let’s hope we can reflect upon continued success at the 10th later this year. We look forward to seeing you there: it will be on Thursday 14th December, unless I receive a lot of appeals – try not to double book!

Meanwhile, groundwater levels at the beginning of 2017 were generally similar to the well below average readings of 2016 (also below average in Jan 2015) and the 12 month rainfall at 575 mm (Chalfont St Peter) remains below the 25 year average of 618 mm.

And so, to work! Our first outing of 2017 will be on Saturday 11 February – probably the usual 2 shifts, starting at 09.30 and 1.30. Please let me know if you will be joining us, for which shift, and wader size if I don’t already have it. I am thinking of breaking the mould and having a work party on Tuesday 14th March starting 10.30am and would be very interested to know if that might suit you as well, or better than weekends. There will be a “not-a-meeting” – a general chat about local matters, river and otherwise, or indeed anything else, at The White Hart, Chalfont St Peter on Thursday at 7.45pm: all welcome, just turn up.

As ever, we look forward to seeing you in or by the river

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