With­out us, river would still over­flow

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - OPINION -

RE: Ex­am­i­na­tion be­gins into vil­lage flood­ing (page 2, Ad­ver­tiser, Oc­to­ber 9) THOSE in­ves­ti­gat­ing the cause of Chal­font St Giles flood­ing may like to look at our web­site, Mis­bourneRiverAc­tion.org, where they will find re­sults from monthly mon­i­tor­ing of the wa­ter ta­ble and much more.

They will then re­alise that the sit­u­a­tion early in the year had noth­ing to do with the River Mis­bourne ‘over­flow­ing’ but, rather, that ground­wa­ter lev­els were at an ex­cep­tion­ally high level.

Pump­ing wa­ter from one side of the vil­lage to the other was com­pletely un­pro­duc­tive – even if the hoses had been main­tained – and the dis­rup­tion of traf­fic and drench­ing of pedes­tri­ans was quite un­nec­es­sary. Pump­ing from the BT ex­change across the car park to the river would have done just as well.

The sit­u­a­tion that was al­lowed to de­velop later in the year, as ground­wa­ter lev­els grad­u­ally sub­sided and the river should have been as­sist­ing in the drainage process, was also frus­trat­ing. It was not un­til our work party on July 26 that block­ages be­side Mer­lin’s Cave and gen­eral over­growth fur­ther down­stream were cleared.

Within just two hours, our small group of vol­un­teers low­ered the river level by some six inches, giv­ing the path some­where to drain to: it was fully walk­a­ble the fol­low­ing day. A pity we weren’t able to muster re­sources in June for this work and give the Show Com­mit­tee an ex­tra month of re­as­sur­ance that Stone Meadow would be fit for use in Septem­ber as, of course, it was.

Our next work party is sched­uled for Satur­day, Novem­ber 8 and it would be won­der­ful if res­i­dents from Chal­font St Giles would join us as we work to cher­ish the river cor­ri­dor, en­hance its habi­tats and visual amenity, keep­ing the wa­ter­course clear to help it to cope with flood wa­ters, and to flow as much as pos­si­ble dur­ing dry pe­ri­ods.

BOB OLDER Mis­bourne River Ac­tion

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