2019 – June Jumble

If you didn’t see Countryfile on BBC this week, I really recommend that you try and find it on “catch-up” and enjoy a very interesting and somewhat encouraging programme all about chalk streams.

While concentrating on water quality and pollution issues, the programme does mention lack of rainfall. You may have received notice from your water company regarding the serious state of our water reserves following three poor winters. The routine monthly reports from the Environment Agency also paint a picture of below average rainfall, poor river flows and low groudwater levels. Regular readers will know that the current rains should not be expected to change the underlying situation as recorded in the graphs etc of our website – http://www.misbourneriveraction.org/node/18 However, what those graphs and records also show is that, as far as Misbourne flow is concerned, we have periods of flow and no-flow in any period of 5 to 7 years so we can hope for full flow back down the valley in the next year or two.

It was quite exciting to finish our work party in April with flow (a trickle) as far as the edge of Blizzards Yard Car Park behind the Co-op in Chalfont St Giles – continuing the recovery from the drought of 2017 when the river was dry back to Amersham Church

 There isn’t much fun or satisfaction in working on a dry ditch with no hope of a stream in the short term, so we are not planning any more similar work parties before the autumn.

Nevertheless, there are opportunities for your enthusiasm. Himalayan Balsam is a non-native invasive plant found typically along riverbanks where it smothers natural species. It is the largest annual plant in Britain, growing up to 2.5m high from seed in a single season and spreads quickly as it can project its seeds up to four metres……….and it is present in the Misbourne valley. There will be a volunteer “Balsam Bash” day in the Little Missenden area on 22nd June and if you are able to lend a hand, please contact Ceri Groves of Chilterns Conservation Board – cgroves@chilternsaonb.org or 01844 355502.

Best wishes


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