2023 – May Momentum

2023 – May Momentum

Well, that was a very encouraging month for the Misbourne since the last ramblings.

There is water in Mobwell Pond – the notional source of the upper winterbourne – though maybe not flowing out yet; and ducks on the broadwaters of Missenden Abbey. Small outputs from the springs above Chalfont St Peter have been giving patchy flows towards the village and the good flow through Chalfont St Giles continues to try to find its way through the badly overgrown fields towards Cherry Acre. Groundwater levels, particularly below Amersham Church are above average for the time of year so the sections may yet join up for a while this year.

But there is more! We have had further really encouraging discussions with Affinity Water, The Chiltern Society, The Chilterns Conservation Board and the Chilterns Chalk Streams Project – all of whom are very supportive of our aims and minded to identify new projects to restore the Misbourne and collaboratively work to deliver improvements. We have a working title of “Mending The Misbourne” and look forward to seeing some results in the medium term. Meanwhile, Affinity Water confirms that it is on track to deliver the further small planned reductions in abstraction at Amersham by 2024.

The proposals by Chalfont St Peter Parish Council for development of a Nature Reserve on the side of the river just above Chalfont St Peter are taking shape rapidly, with support from the organisations above and others. Preliminary surveys commence in the next few days and access for the main field work is expected from early autumn.

You may be expecting some comment from me about the sinkhole that has appeared above the HS2 tunnel near Shardeloes but this is a fast moving story and others will be more up to speed than me. However, in my view it is a) no surprise that this has occurred and it may not be the last, b) it will have no effect on the continuation of the tunnelling operation, which is already past that point and c) at present we cannot know what, if any, effect it may have on the river and/or Shardeloes Lake but I don’t foresee any dramatically catastrophic developments.

As noted the river is on the brink of flowing through Chalfont St Peter for the next month or so. We have an ideal opportunity for work parties to clear away the last of the winter debris from between the tennis courts and the ford by the Greyhound and ease the backstream. Please can we have a really good turnout for an end-of-spring-clean this Saturday 20th, Thursday 27th and probably continuing next Saturday 29th? The location and the work is ideal for those who can only give an hour or so and excellent for involving the whole family and making a visible difference – generally Wellington boots will suffice. Please let me know as soon as possible what time you can offer(mornings from 9.30 to suit you, afternoons from 2.00 to suit you) and I will send details to you the evening before the event.

I think the situation in the field between the Chalfonts is sadly too much for we amateurs to tackle at present. The weekend June 10th/11th might be a good time to spruce up the stream through St Giles and the woods downstream and then later weeks it will be good to make some improvements in Amersham. In essence though, having had a couple of low turnouts recently, and myself recognising that the years have moved on since we started in 2008, I need all you supporters to let me know when you might have a morning or afternoon to work with others and I’ll help co-ordinate and arrange tools etc. RSVP!!! (The WhatsApp Group is a good way of keeping in touch – do let me know if you wish to join).

Next Monday 22nd May and Wednesday 24th, we are working with Chalfont St Giles Cub Scouts and one or two more helpers would be appreciated, particularly on the Monday.

June 24th is Chalfont St Peter Feast Day when we will, as usual have a stall with displays. Please let me know if you can help our team on that day for a while – they particularly need your help as, unfortunately, I will be away.

July 9th is the Green Festival at COAM – the appeal is as above (except I can be there for my stint!).

Looking ahead, Chalfont St Giles Show is on 2nd September. We should definitely still have a river there then and will have a stall – volunteers please make a note in your diary now.

And, while diaries are open, don’t forget our (informal) Annual Dinner on December 13th.

So, lots to talk about! Do join us for a drink and a chat at our next “not-a-meeting” on Thursday 8th June from 7.15 pm in The Greyhound: newcomers very welcome.

The time has come when our displays for fairs etc need a new look and we should also produce some leaflets and explanatory material. Sources of funding exist – do you have the skill and enthusiasm to help with these important task?

Very much looking forward to a bumper response to all above and seeing you by or in the river very soon.

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