Monday, June 13, 2011

Sewer lining set for July/August

Randwick Parish 1842 with brook marked
Major sewer relining by Severn Trent water will take place along the brook incl the fields above Puckshole for about 4 weeks in July/August. We have been assured that the lining lasts for 100 year! See previous discussion on sewer lining here. Dates for the lower sections have not been confirmed yet.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Ruscombe brook: walk highlights action areas

Just over a month ago the Ruscombe Brook Action Group walked the top half of the brook. We gained permission from the relevant landowners as we do each year to check out problems, improvements etc. It was a great evening where I learnt lots.

Last year we walked with FWAG - that's the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group and it is the UK's leading independent provider of environmental advice to farmers - see that walk here. This time we had a new group member who works with water and conservation - he was able to add to the advice and info we had gained last year.

Photos from walk in May of the top half of the brook.

Last night we met again to discuss what we found on the walk and our next steps. We have drawn up a list of 4 target issues to consider further. It is good to have some renewed enthusiasm and focus for the group as we have drifted a bit over the last 6 months.

Also good news is that the relining of sewers is imminent. Severn Trent have contacted several local landowners and will soon be giving dates to start. It has only taken us since 2006 to get this to happen!!

Having said that the yearly root cutting of roots that have grown into sewers has led to almost no raw sewage incidents - what a difference from 2005/6 when there were some 20 plus incidents.

You can read more about our project at:

Or for even more read over 130 entries on Philip Booth's blog re Ruscombe Brook here.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

New waterways charity

BW logo
So the new Trustees have been appointed for the new waterways charity - see Defra here. So what to think about it? British Waterways is to go. The briefing below is by Chris Borg at the National Association of Local Councils and is a useful introduction if not familiar with the issues. There are huge liabilities and huge costs....

Here is one RBAG member comment: "On the one hand it’s a similar argument to the forests, but entrusting the property as an endowment is significant and setting management of the waterways free of state control could open up new possibilities. I see the work of charities like the National Trust being comparable. They are for the people without the trappings of government. I know some in the charity sector are worried about the increased competition for charitable donations if this new body comes into being – that is a concern but shows also that this has potential to be a strong proposition for philanthropists and grant giving trusts. After a very brief read through I’m broadly in favour."

Another RBAG comment: "I have real concerns about long term funding.....will this mean the new body will be forced to sell off large parts in order to keep running? I believe the state has an important role to play not least financially - the EA is already not powerful enough."

See The Waterways Project response to the consultation here. Vote here for a name for the new charity. Current polling shows:
  • National Waterways Trust (39%)
  • British Waterways (37%)
  • British Waterways Trust (33%)
  • Waterways Trust (26%)
  • Waterways of Britain (20%)
Briefing - click read more