South Chilterns Catchment
Meeting of the Wye sub-catchment
9 October 2014 – WDC offices, High Wycombe
Allen Beechey – Chilterns Chalk Stream Project
Mike Overall - The Chilterns Society
Lesley Stoner - WDC
Maxine Forshaw – FWR
Neil Tytler - FWR
Graham Osborn – Thames Water
Rebecca Elliott – Thames Water
- Notes on actions from meeting held 20/2/14:
- Identify 2 habitat improvement areas (medium scale, beyond volunteers): Funges Meadow (see below) and flood relief channel across the Rye.
- Put forward lower Wye and Hughenden gauging stations as priorities to EA network review. Action: Mark B. to provide an update on this.
- Approach National Trust about works at Hughenden. Allen B. has spoken to Neil Harris (NT) previously regarding work on the weirs along the Hughenden stream, but there has been little progress to date. Action: RTW group to liaise with Neil Harris and update the group of these discussions in due course.
- Colne catchment plan has been launched online – Allen B. explained that this is interactive; public can add comments, eg point out that a weir is causing problems, suggest projects, etc. Would be good to have similar online catchment info for the South Chilterns in due course.
- Rye Dyke: can be improved as an aquatic habitat; tree and shrubbery removal required. Action: Matt Drew to send an updated version of the Rye Dyke management plan. There is also a Wye management plan. The two plans need to be linked and updated. Rye Dyke (on council land) may be a suitable project for HLF funding, as the heritage aspect is of great importance.
- Revive the Wye (RTW) update from Mike Overall:
- Desborough Recreation Group (Wild Trout Trust, RTW, WDC): project completed.
- Funges Meadow: £12k available to be spent on this area, next to the Wye, reshaping ponds, tree work, etc. Chiltern Rangers are involved. Pond dipping platform is to be replaced and additional platforms added. There is scope for a package of work (ticks access and education boxes). RTW meet on 4 November and will discuss this. Conservation volunteers need tools – this could form a bid for Thames Water’s ‘River & Wetland Community Days’ fund in Feb 2015. Could also be a ‘Rivers Week’ event. Action: Allen B/Mike O. to keep FWR informed and advise with details in due course, including specification of any additional monies required.
- River Wye: bridge plaques, walkways, heritage trail, plaques on mill sites. Heritage adds weight to bids. Possible joint bid between RTW and the Wycombe Heritage & Arts Trust (WHAT). Chiltern Society could lead on smaller HLF packages – RTW/WHAT/Chiltern Society working together.
- Friends of the Wye group consists of volunteers and is the support group for RTW steering group. They can help with river fly monitoring, Trout in the Classroom, local fetes, fund-raising, etc.
- Thames Water (TW) need to enhance the R Wye along the Rye. TW have funds connected to their low flow alleviation work. TW contact is Steve Tuck. Action: Allen B. will find out the timeline for funds.
- Deculverting in High Wycombe: Lesley S. explained that a report from consultants (Royal Haskoning) was due late October, containing options and costs. This is long term work. Action: WDC to update the group at our next meeting.
- Weir removal on the Wye at Bourne End. Action: Mark B. to advise of progress.
- Trout in the Classroom initiative: Neil T. explained that the bid for this which was put forward for Thames Water’s ‘River & Wetland Community Days’ fund was unsuccessful. Mike O. asked that RTW be contacted prior to submitting for any future such bids as they will be able to provide advice and background information. Action: there needs to be a discussion as to which organisation should take forward this initiative in this sub-catchment – it will be discussed at the RTW meeting on 4 November. Mike O. to report back to the group on the outcome.
- Other projects:
- The ‘all-embracing’ project originally considered for HLF funding needs to be unbundled and smaller, discrete packages developed instead, eg work on Rye Dyke. It was stressed again that fully worked up project proposals are needed before we approach organisations for funding.
- Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL): this is an annual bid process (Aug/Sept). Action: Lesley S. to send the template to the group.
- Projects the EA are considering for bids for internal money. Mark B. had sent a spreadsheet. Action: Mark B. to inform the group of the projects, costs, timescales, and any actions needed from members of the group.
- AOB: Lesley Stoner will be retiring from WDC in November. Many thanks to Lesley for all her valuable contributions and also for arranging meeting rooms and refreshments at WDC for our meetings. We wish her all the best for the future. Action: Lesley S. to inform the group of her replacement contact.
- AOB: Neil T. distributed information on the quagga mussel sent to us from the EA. Action: FWR to forward the information to all on the South Chilterns steering group.