2018 – October Optimism

Understandably, some of you have taken me to task for my earlier prediction that we would see flow back to Chalfont St Giles by May. Well, with tongue in cheek I claim my forecast was correct all along as, throughout the summer, there has been flow as far as, and a bit beyond, Misbourne Farm – well inside St Giles Parish! Notably, those who could not believe that “all that rain” didn’t bring substantial flow in April, are equally surprised to learn that the river has done reasonably well this year compared with the dry bed up to Amersham Church last year. During our September work party, we brought flow back to within 400m of Mill Lane. Meanwhile, groundwater levels are well up on 2017 and pretty well average for the time of year.

So, that’s a good start. With a reasonable recharge over the next 6 months, full recovery could be with us. As we watch for that, all eyes are on the graphs to see if a benefit from Affinity Water’s welcome reduction in abstraction at Amersham from last April can be detected. Indeed, could it be that we already see it in the sustained situation at Misbourne Farm? (Before 1997, the abstraction limit at Amersham was 18 Ml/d; it was then reduced to around 13 with Affinity typically using a maximum of 12. From April this year the limit has been 9 – frequently needed during the demanding hot months – and, while the limit remains 9, the declared operating target on average in non-critical times going forward is 4. That is a reduction of over 75% in 20 years compared with the seemingly unstoppable rise that was eventually successfully opposed successfully by the late Vic Wotton of the Chiltern Society and others).

Behind the scenes, discussions continue as to how we might be involved in assisting develop projects for the future to give the biggest environmental value. We were privileged to be invited to attend a Misbourne update workshop by Affinity and the EA and delighted to have MRA representation from the Missenden, Amersham and Chalfonts sections.

Now to the serious bit – next work parties are:
Wednesday 17th October from 10.00 to 12.30
Saturday 20th October from 09.30 to 12.30. (Happy to provide tasks, tools and clear-up for anyone who wants to work the afternoon but I’ll probably not be with them)
Please let me know if you will be joining us – (include your wader size please if you think I might not have it) – and I will send details just before the day.

And, even more seriously, have you put our annual dinner into your diary? It is Thursday 13th December when we will be celebrating completing our first ten years and look forward to a suitably bumper turn-out and much fun. If you can, please let me know soon.

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