12 May 2009

Walking the Ruscombe Brook again

We have walked the brook several times over the years - the last time as a group was over a year ago - see here - we also have done it several times with experts - see for example here - anyhow last night we only did the top half - what a beautiful evening.

These photos are from the walk where we started at the spring and made our way down - first to Double Spout spring then (with permission already obtained from landowners) we cut across fields to the Charley's two lakes.

The first of these lakes (which you can't really see from the road) had just been desilted (see pic) - so much of the road run-off goes into the brook - this first lake prevents the second larger one from silting up so much - although we learnt from the Charleys who came out to meet the group that it too needed a desilt.

We also had a discussion about the Wellington that crashed in the valley - see more here.

This pic is of the pipe bridge opposite Bread Street that leaked sewage nearby and led to the start of the brook campaign - the old pipe collapsed and this new one was installed - it is starting to wear away at the base a little - nothing to worry about yet but need tokeep an eye on it.

Rubbish and more rubbish

Anyhow we moved on down the valley and as you will see we were disturbed by the recent additions to the brook - see photos below - usually there is not much rubbish and volunteers have cleared it out before - however this was exceptional - as you will see from the photos a two-seater couch, a shopping trolley, a tent plus a large rubbish bin were amongst the debris. There is some thought that this is local children - and we don't want to stop them having fun but there is a need to engender some responsibilities...we will be writing to Archway school although there is no evidence it is those children - the idea is that they may wish to help clear up later in the year...

Puckshole latest

We have cleared out silt at this site - see here - but it will remain a problem - the visit last night was useful to meet residents again there (the last photo is of the site where the brook goes into a culvert there). The brook group has had confirmation that measures will be undertaken there - we have met Officers at the site - and welcome the measures. We also now have a provisional start date in July. The site meeting last night led to further recommendations about this first phase that includes a new headwall and grate.

The group also had lengthy discussions about phase two to the area - namely considering elements like installing willow reinforcement or similar to banks to prevent further erosion, reinforcing the stream bed at outlet of the culverted brook and Wheeler’s Walk run-off to prevent further erosion and controlling velocity of flow from run-off. We are still researching what might be possible and then will seek funding - we had been given indications that funding would not be a problem but now it is so we need to get a proper detailed plan for the site.

Anyhow we finished there - lots more to say but have a meeting to go to now - indeed too many of those at mo - yesterday all day I went from one to another...a planning application to a Green District councillors meeting to a Transition Stroud meeting then four different meetings at Ebley Mill with Officers then home for walking the brook.

Today is a little better but have also been updating the local Green party website with local election stuff.... See Communiversity plans for a water conference in June here.

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