2019 – November Nuggets

A most unexpected email this week advised that we have been awarded £200! If I understand it correctly, the money comes from funds raised in store by TK MAX and Homesense, through an initiative called “Neighbourly”, for TCV (The Conservation Volunteers) who have allocated funds to your good selves. So, ladies, we should have more waders to suit you, secateurs for all, more gloves and some better loppers for the New Year.

Of course, we assume that in the New Year, we shall once more have some river to be looked after. I see there is now definite flow past the church at Amersham and the embryonic trickle extends to the back of Tesco. With all the rain of the last few weeks, many find it hard to believe that we are still talking about shortages, no flow and low groundwater levels. However, the graphs on our website speak for themselves. Even now, the total rainfall in the Chalfonts over the last three years is short by six months worth of the average rainfall of the preceding 10 years.

Readers are probably well aware that the plight of our chalk streams has been much in the news and media recently. In particular, concerns have been raised about the volume of water that construction of HS2 will demand and I understand Affinity Water have made it clear that this cannot be provided from groundwater sources. Will they bring it in tankers from the North? – the whole thing gets even more ridiculous. Dame Cheryl Gillan spoke of these matters in The Commons on 31 October and received some assurance that chalk streams would be considered in the planned Environment Bill.

As there was little to do, we cancelled the planned work parties in October although a useful number of volunteers had signed up. Now we have something to go at, the work party on Wednesday 27 November is confirmed and will start 09.30. We shall be working from Amersham church towards Tesco – new territory for us. As the 30th November is the AGM of the Chiltern Society Rivers and Wetlands Group, the work party for that day will be postponed until Saturday 7th December – again at 09.30. Please let me know if you will be joining us for these, which, hopefully, will mark the beginning of the next cycle for our river.

Meanwhile, don’t forget to also let me know that you can come to our fun, frivolous, friendly and not particularly fluvial 12th annual dinner on Wednesday 11th December at The Greyhound. (Yes, with regrets to those who preferred a different date, this was the most popular for the early bookers). N.B. This event is for all our supporters, and partners, not just those who have been physically active in the river. Do please come along and enjoy a great evening – RSVP.

That’s all for now. Hope to see you in or by the river soon or, indeed, at The Greyhound for our dinner!

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