2018 – February Fanfare

2018 – February Fanfare

I hope your New Year has got off to a good start and you have enjoyed the break from MRA adventures.

Last autumn we were dismayed to see that the poor recharge of the last two or three years had resulted in no flow all the way back to Amersham Church – the first time since 2006 we believe. However, as you may have noticed, it would be hard to complain about either the timing or quantity of precipitation over the last couple of months! Recovery is underway and the stream has already reached Quarrendon Mill: my early money is on it extending at least to Chalfont St Giles by May.

Using observations left by the late John Norris, we have reformatted the Excel worksheet of groundwater levels, extents of flow and associated graphs. While this is still “work in progress” and subject to corrections, the effects of the five particularly dry periods in the past twenty five years are apparent in this example graph of the situation at Chalfont St Giles. (Other graphs and also the entire workbook are accessible on our website). You will recall that flow above the water table is known as “perched flow” and this can easily be seen in the months of flow that continue after peak levels have passed.

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“Perched flow” – the norm for the Misbourne below Shardeloes Lake – is sustained by the river bed being clear of blockages and essentially this is the focus of MRA’s normal work parties. Experience has shown us that work on the river can be very rewarding, fun and friendly – also much more effective if undertaken before late spring or summer growth gets established. Hence, we propose to commence the season cherishing various locations between Amersham By-pass and Mill Lane at Chalfont St Giles with work parties on the morning of Wednesday 28th February from 09.30 and on Saturday 3rd March (morning and afternoon slots). Please let me know if you can join us and I will send further details nearer the time.

We will also be present to welcome all comers to an informal chat about the river, MRA, the weather, life and the universe etc. – i.e. a “not-a-meeting” from 07.45 pm at The Greyhound, Chalfont St Peter, on Wednesday 21st February.

Finally, it was good that everyone appeared to thoroughly enjoy our annual dinner before Christmas. As it is a busy time of year, please make a note in your diaries now of this year’s event which will be on Thursday 13th December.

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