South Chilterns Catchment
Meeting of the Lower Middle Thames sub-catchment
17 September 2014 - Withymead Nature Reserve
Mark Barnett – EA
Keith Tomey – Withymead Nature Reserve
Allen Beechey – Chilterns Chalk Stream Project
Maxine Forshaw – FWR
Neil Tytler - FWR
Graham Osborn – Thames Water
Rebecca Elliott – Thames Water
Tom Ormesher – NFU
Dave Wales – Thame Fisheries Consultative
Mike Overall – The Chilterns Society; Little Marlow Lakes
Giles Strother - BBOWT
Johnny Johnston – RYA
- Thames Water River & Wetland Community Days – there will be 3 tranches of money. Next deadline will be Feb 2015. Neil submitted 4 in July applications, 2 of which were unsuccessful (Trout in the Classroom; Enhancements to Rye Dyke) and 2 of which were described as ‘pending’ (Habitat enhancement of Sulham Brook; Renovation of backwater near South Stoke STW). Action: Mark B. and Dominic Martyn (EA) will provide advice on how to turn these into successful submissions for Feb.
- Community involvement, eg rivers week – will attract funding.
- TW Community Fund. Rebecca Elliott is knowledgeable about this. Action: FWR to contact her to establish if this is the same as the River and Wetlands Community Days. Try this fund for Trout in the Classroom. To be successful, the proposed project needs to help TW’s business, eg abstraction, sewage treatment.
- TW/Ofwat - £5 million from TW on improvement works. Action: Mark B. chasing this up.
- South Stoke STW – a £5k bid from Thames Water is pending. Action: Mark B. to investigate. High P from S Stoke STW. Action: Mark B. to explore.
- Temple Island Meadow SSSI – restore grazing and de-silt the watercourses. Land owner approval obtained. Provides fish refuge; Loddon lily present. Needs ditch clearing, fencing, habitat creation. Action: Allen B. to speak to Matt Drew and farmer.
- Little Meadow, Goring - possibility for wild flower meadow. Money from TW? Anne Carpmael Trust interested. Leased to farmer from TW. Action: Keith T. to send the group details on this.
- Control of mink across the wider catchment. Action: Mark B. to report back on mink control programmes. Allen B. advised that BBOWT and River Chess Association carry out mink control. FWR could purchase mink rafts/traps.
- Update on land adjacent to Withymead NR: no indication of timescales for the possible sale from Christ Church, Oxford. Keith and Dot would value some help putting together the lottery bid. Action: Neil T. to arrange to meet with Keith and Dot to go through putting the bid together. Could also involve Graeme McKirdy from HLF. Allen B. advised that Rachel Sanderson and Cath Daly from the Chilterns Conservation Board were practised at compiling such bids. Allen also commented that smaller amounts of money (eg £2k) may be available from the Chilterns Conservation Board to help nature reserves in the Chilterns, so this route could be explored for a small project or part-funding of a larger piece of work. Contact details: firstname.lastname@example.org 01844 355500
- Hedsor Island fish pass (near Cookham). Action: Mark B. and Neil T. to explore possibility of getting John Lewis to provide some funding.
- Rivers for Life/Earth Trust at Shillingford: may have some useful ideas for this area. Action: Mark B. to talk to Lizzie Rhymes (EA), project officer in contact with the Earth Trust.
- Landfill tax – to use this the project needs to be within 10 miles of the waste operator; eg Ewelme Stream/Grundon. Action: Neil T. is meeting with Suzy Bannon (EA) on 9 October to explore this funding route in more detail.
- Installation of fish passes. Action: Mark B. will obtain a list.
- Access to the river in the Reading area. Action: Mark B. will find out if there are any potential projects.
- Ewelme Brook and the associated watercress beds: habitat could be enhanced (eg provide better habitat for water voles); Allen B. is producing a report for Tom Stevenson – small weirs could be removed, needs costing up; woody debris – could be a volunteer event. Action: suggested that FWR could put forward a bid for the next round of Thames Water’s River & Wetland Community Days fund in Feb, with input from Allen B. who will investigate a possible project with Tom Stevenson of the Ewelme Watercress beds association.
- Deculverting of the Ewelme stream under RAF Benson. This may provide a good way of connecting with the community at Benson. (Was there an action on someone for this???)
- Hamble Brook: Allen B. reported that there’s been little progress at the lower end of the watercourse.
- Need to prioritise potential projects. Action: Mark B. to send out a list to the group.
- Agreed that we need to pursue businesses more, eg John Lewis, but would need to go with a project fully worked out.
- Maxine and Neil met with Mike Overall at the end of the Wye sub-catchment meeting on 9 October to discuss Little Marlow Lakes. Mike updated us with the latest information. Action: Mike O. to advise on possible improvements around Abbotsbrook stream.