Days and days of balsam bashing

Over the last few years we have succeeded in removing vast swathes of Indian balsam from the river banks mostly on WDC land, all the way from the Fire Station to Wooburn. Every year there are smaller and smaller patches of new growth, all in difficult to reach places. Because of the danger of working in deep water and awkward places, we have not been able to run ‘balsam bashing’ volunteer days. Instead, two of our Volunteer work party leaders and an enthusiastic volunteer who is used to working (fishing) in deep water, and in one case a Wycombe Wildlife Group member, have spent many days clearing all the reported patches.

The following areas have been cleared:

July 16th  The Rye
July 24th  Wye Dean, Pizza Hut, Bucks Free Press, Boundary Park, Glory Mill
to Holtspur
July 25th  Wooburn Park, Wooburn Town
July 29th  Kingsmead, Wooburn Park
July 31st  Kingsmead

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Water in the Rye Dyke is looking blue/green

Water in the Dyke looks blue/green

Blue-green algae (Cyanobacteria)
Blue-green algae grow in warm, slow-moving or still waters and form a bloom in the water, often coloured blue or green, which makes it difficult to see into the water. Although some species are non-toxic, others can cause a variety of adverse health affects, including damage to the liver or nervous system, and can be fatal to dogs and people.

When the wife of one of Revive the Wye’s Steering Group members saw what appeared to be blue-green algae in the Dyke on the Rye in High Wycombe, she was obviously very concerned, as was her husband who went and took photographs of the blooms and circulated them to other Steering Group members including the Environment Agency (EA) representatives. The EA took this matter very seriously and arranged for the water to be tested as a matter of urgency. Everyone was surprised and pleased to hear that the tests had found no algae present in the affected water and that it was thought the unusual condition of the water was a result of calcium carbonate precipitation during the recent dry weather reducing light penetration in the water.
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Next Conservation volunteer work party Sunday 23 April

Our next work party will be on Sunday 23rd April on Kingsmead, High Wycombe
Meet at Fennel’s Road Car Park, High Wycombe, HP11 1SR   at 9.45
Tasks to be done include :
  • Removal of branches which have fallen into the river over the winter by cutting and lopping
  • Litter picking in the river and on the banks
  • Some limited vegetation pruning where it is falling over the path
 Please wear strong footwear or wellingtons. If you would like to work in the river, we will provide waders so please let me know your shoe size
Tools and gloves will be provided
Good news – for the first time we will be providing refreshments
We expect to finish by 1pm but you are free to leave whenever you want
Please let me know if you will be joining us so that we can bring the right number of tools and waders  judy.sonley@tiscali.co.uk
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Next conservation work party Tuesday 21st March

Our next work party will be on Tuesday 21st March
Meet at 9.45 in Wycombe Rye Lido Car Park, The Rye, off Bassetsbury Lane, High Wycombe, HP11 1QX
We will finish by 1pm, however you’re free to leave whenever you wish
Working in and near the wetland area on Holywell Mead just below the waterfall we will aim to
  • Cut back old vegetation and remove unwanted plants to facilitate growth of the wetland species that were planted there
  • Remove tree seedlings
  • Deal with encroaching brambles
  • Remove vegetation or debris adversely affecting the river flow
  • Remove litter
There will be a choice of tasks and opportunity to change tasks during the morning. Please wear wellingtons or strong footwear as we will be working in wetlands. There may be opportunity to work in the river, so if you would like to wear waders, please let me have your shoe size so that we can bring the correct sizes. Please also wear a belt so that the wader straps can be attached to it.
Please contact judy.sonley@tiscali.co.uk  if you would like to attend.
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Chiltern Society Rivers and Wetlands Meeting March 25th – everyone welcome

Are you interested in the state of the rivers and streams of the Chilterns? Then you are invited to the Rivers and Wetlands Group’s Spring Meeting to hear the latest news from across the Chilterns.

Chiltern Society Rivers and Wetlands Group Spring Meeting
10am Saturday 25 March 2017
The Village Hall, Little Missenden HP7 0RF  (opposite the Crown Inn)

  • Dr Ilias Karapanos from Affinity Water will talk about water abstraction, the Sustainability Reduction Programme and the river restoration work they are currently undertaking in the Misbourne catchment area.
  • Allen Beechey, the Chilterns Chalk Streams Project Officer, will bring us up to date on activities across the AONB.
  • Our own River Watchers will give us an update on their personal observations on all of the major streams in the area.

After the meeting why not take the opportunity to explore the village and the tenth century church and possibly some refreshment in the Crown Inn.

Parking is available behind the hall or along the road.

For further details contact Alison Gieler alisongieler@dsl.pipex.com

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7th March next conservation work party

Our first work party of 2017 will be on Tuesday 8th March. We will be continuing with the selective vegetation clearance started in September around the river in Hughenden Park, High Wycombe. We will meet at 9.45 in the new car park off Coates Lane. The car park is not yet marked, but is on the right after turning the corner by the new houses, and the entrance is opposite a street sign ‘Park View’. There is an entrance from here into
Hughenden Park.

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New species of damselfly larva found at Desborough Rec

In a recent riverfly monitoring task at Desborough Rec, a new damselfly larva species was found and identified as a banded demoiselle. This species has probably been attracted to the site as a result of the stream improvements as it likes lots of streamside vegetation for egg laying.

Banded demoiselle larva. Photo Jane Beaton Click to enlarge image

 

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Twenty conservation volunteering events run in 2016

Many thanks to all the volunteers who helped us have the best ever year working on conservation in and around the river. We have five Task Leaders who between them ran twenty events .We created a schedule which covered most days of the week and Sundays to allow for volunteers with other commitments and this worked well. The twenty events include four sessions with Corporate Volunteers from local businesses who contacted RTW asking to be involved. We covered areas between Wooburn Green and Hughenden Park and now have a work schedule ready for 2017 and will soon be announcing work party dates. We normally undertake work parties from March to October, taking into account river conditions and wildlife-related issues such as fish spawning and bird nesting.

For a list of when and where we worked and what was achieved, take a look at this document Volunteer events 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Corporate volunteering in Wooburn Green October 16

cala-smallOn 21st October, 12 volunteers from a local company joined RTW task leaders for a mornings hard work in and around an overgrown part of the river between Holtspur Lane and Glory Mill Lane. This is the result of their efforts.

 

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Are you interested in the state of the rivers and streams of the Chilterns?

Then you are invited to the Chiltern Society Rivers and Wetlands Group’s AGM and Autumn Meeting to hear the latest news from across the Chilterns at 10 am Saturday 29 October 2016

  • Paul Jennings, Chairman of the River Chess Association, will be speaking about the Chess and in particular about a strategy to change the attitude of the water authorities to over abstraction and pollution in our rivers.
  • Allen Beechey, the Chilterns Chalk Streams Project Officer, will bring us up to date on activities across the AONB.
  • Our own River Watchers will give us an update on their personal observations on all of the major streams in the area.

There is free parking at the weekends in the Chiltern Council’s car park in King George V Road adjacent to the Community Centre. The Small Barn is on the opposite side of the car park from The Lounge where previous meetings have been held

For further details contact Alison Gieler  alisongieler@dsl.pipex.com

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