The planned meeting for 28th March was cancelled due to the CV-19 restrictions
Hugh Bunker has sent through a briefing note from the Agency on thier activities during this last quarter, which is availble to download below.
We have also started to look at supporting the Fanland Pike Initative in addressing some of the long term issues impacting the Lincolshire Fens.
In these difficult times, I trust everyone can keep safe and well.
Latest update on the Nene from Viktor.
Quick update from myself on all things Nene Valley;
Resilient River Project:
- Nassington (Wellington Fishery run by PDAA) is still on hold due to weather obstructing access. The fencing contractors are currently not operating due to the situation so as soon as they are, coupled with the lack of rainfall and dropping river levels, this will get completed ASAP. It is likely the tree works will be put on hold until September to avoid bird nesting season. Tree planting to occur in November.
- Electric Cut, Peterborough is currently with Peterborough City Council to get permissions for the scheme and for drone monitoring which will look at the extent of re-sedimentation & vegetation in future years. Aiming for September/October on this one.
- Wellingborough Embankment floating islands had a bit of a setback with the identified additional funding from Wellingborough Council not being secured. They have been able to provide a small amount however but it still leaves a shortfall for the most basic design so Whitworths have been asked to top up the pot and I am awaiting a response.
- Lilford Backchannel permit has been submitted and I am now working on the landowner consent documents with the view that EA FCRM budget will be made available to deliver the project in the 20/21 financial year.
Wellingborough Waterside Group:
- Public consultation of the potential improvement works in and around Wellingborough Embankment was live in Jan & Feb, with 3 days of consultation in the Swansgate Centre, Wellingborough. We had a majority good feedback on this. I know WDNAC were concerned they had not been consulted before this went live, however I spoke to numerous members of the committee, including Howard, about why this was. In essence the group was only pulling in the right stakeholders at the right time and as fishing rights were not to be affected by any of the proposals WDNAC were not consulted with beforehand. This is because the improvements are only ideas and a version 2 design with public informed ideas will be produced as an outcome of the consultation. Then work will start to put the improvements in to action. I was also representing WDNAC and other fisheries here whilst on the group so they were not forgotten about, as is always the case normally! Rest assured I always have done and will continue to represent angling at all meetings or during consultations to the best I can.
Nene Valley Catchment Partnership:
- The NVCP will soon have a new storymap website going live which is accessible to all. It holds a huge amount of information and data which can be explored. Once live I will provide a link to everyone so they can have a look at it.
- Challenges and Choices consultation is open until 24th April and the NVCP will be submitting a response to it. I would prompt anyone interested in submitting a response or sending us comments to be included in our response. https://consult.environment-agency.gov.uk/environment-and-business/challenges-and-choices/?dm_i=3O4M,12NEZ,D6EWF,3QDC6,1
- The EA have made ecological monitoring data publically available. You can access years of fish, invert, macrophyte & diatom data in spreadsheet format. It can be tricky to read however I suggest hiding irrelevant columns and putting filters on columns so you can flick through it much more easily. I am going to be looking at it and trying to run some data analysis on the relevant sites to the restoration works if data is available to see what has happened over the last few decades in terms of fish populations and species populations too. https://environment.data.gov.uk/ecology-fish/?utm_source=CaBA+and+Rivers+Trust+Mailing+List&utm_campaign=36d13b8b67-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_05_29_02_38_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_5785643b8e-36d13b8b67-92775589&mc_cid=36d13b8b67&mc_eid=fdc0bfd494
I think that is all,
Take care everyone and hopefully we will be back out fishing soon!!
Kelvin and David
Notes from the Wensum Partnership Pollution Group Meeting 5th Feb 2020
RIVER WENSUM SUB-CATCHMENT PARNERSHIP POLUTION WG MEETING - 5 FEBRUARY 2020
Helen Mandley WLMA
Ed Bramham-Jones NRT
Kelvin Allen BASG/WWG
Cass Singleton BASG/WWG
Zak Battams NRT
Joss More NE
Lizzie Emmett UWFCG
A Pollution Working Group meeting of the River Wensum Sub-catchment Partnership was held at Pensthorpe Natural Park on 5 February 2020. The meeting considered objectives and outcomes from the 13th December 2019 Meeting at Bawdeswell Village Hall further as there had not been sufficient time at that meeting.
The Following aspects were identified for further action:
- Pollution Monitoring. There was a need for gap analysis of current pollution monitoring activities to understand what in formation was gathered by whom better to inform future actions.
- Information sharing. There was a need to establish a sub-catchment partnership information sharing process to cover:
- Information Gathering.
- Performance analysis.
- Reporting mechanisms.
- Testing and sampling methodologies.
- Communication, publicity and awareness.
- To demonstrate this, members of the Wensum Working Group have been out reviewing the red flagged locations from the previous 2010 APEM point source survey, during the recent wet spell. They have complied a report on some 24 locations with graphic images showing clear silt ingress. A map showing these and the full report is available on the following links.
- Wider Farming Community Engagement. The meeting considered that the engagement with the Upper Wensum Farming Cluster was a good illustrator of the benefits to the sub-catchment of such an arrangement. It was felt that in time there was a need to aspire for engagement with the whole farming community along the River Wensum and tributaries. This would be reflected in our future aims and objectives.
- To achieve in this aim, River Wensum Farming Advisors would need to provide their views on what the Sub-catchment Partnership Project Officer’s role would be.
- The potential to link into current and future agriculture payment schemes was seen as key into moving poorly performing land out of production and creating environmental benefit. Subsequent discussions on a potential test and trails of the new ELMS scheme are being explored by Andrew Alston.
- Water Intervention Strategy. The impact of farming practices and processes that could generate sediment risk was discussed. It was felt that the in light of the many risk activities and the high variability of their occurrence made it difficult to plan specific mitigation. It was felt that providing an aide memoire for high risk water intervention mitigation strategies for the use across the whole sub-catchment would be of great value.
- Urban Pollution. Urban pollution was discussed at length. The meeting identified that there was a need to mobilize a citizen science initiative to create engagement with this problem across all local communities. Such an initiative would address the following:
- Risk identification.
- Community information and awareness.
- Hazard and warning reporting.
- Monitoring processes.
- Introduction of River Warden scheme.
- Case study to inform community engagement strategy.
An updated Wensum Catchment Partnership Activity Plan Draft Version 4 is attached on the following link.here
Chair BASG CIC
Here’s the newsletter. If you could distribute this to your contact list for those who may be interested.
We will be dropping the gates at New Mills in order to understand the impacts upstream on Monday 10 Feb until the 12 Feb (lunchtime). The drop will be gradual in order to minimise impacts on fish populations and other river ecology.
The drawdown will actually happen over three days, and not two as stated on the newsletter, due to the tide times and Fisheries advice. The gates will start to drop from Monday morning, stabilise over-night, drop further on Tuesday, again stabilise and the water will be at its lowest point on Wednesday morning at low tide.
Fisheries will be monitoring the situation throughout the trial and will have a fish rescue equipment at hand. We have undertaken an initial scope of the project and highlighted one area of high risk and have a rescue plan in place. Other lower risk areas will be monitored.
Although dropping the levels sounds dramatic, trials of this type have been undertaken at New Mills before with no impact on fish populations. The most recent was done to enable work to be done on the upstream bridge by the Council a few years ago. We completed a similar trial at Hellesdon a few years ago, again with no impact.
Should there be significant unforeseen impacts on fish the trial will be terminated.
Technical Specialist - Fisheries, Biodiversity and Geomorphology (FBG) | East Anglia – East Area
Environment Agency | Dragonfly House, Gilders Way, Norwich, NR3 1UB
External: 02030255406 / Internal: 55406
Team mailbox: FBG.ENS@environment-agency.gov.uk
Notes and actions from the Wensum Partnership Meeting 13th Dec 2019 Bawdeswell Village Hall
In attendance: Tim Ellis, Colin Howlett, David Harper, Ezra Lucas, Dennis Willis, John Flowerdew, Lizzie Emmett, Tim Venues, Rob Holland, Chris Turnbull, Rory Sanderson, Jez Wood, Julia Standsfield
Apologies Cass Singleton, Neil Punchard, Jonah Tosney, Chris Alston, Joss Moore, Lisa Turner
This was the first meeting following the stakeholder workshop on the 8th Oct.
Each of the syndicate groups followed up with a list of objectives and outcomes for the 3 retrospective groups.
These being Ecology, Pollution and Morphology.
Figure 1 shows the group’s structure.
Kelvin explained that he has agreed with NCC to hold a workshop on finance and scoping potential for grant sources with Andy Thorpe Economic Development and Strategy Manager NCC. Lizzie, Rory, Rob agreed to take part in this and Kelvin will scope a workshop in January via a Doodle Poll.
There is also a need to scope how we monitor and measure progress, not just in terms of deliverables but more importantly measure actual improvements to the river ecology. With the seemingly loss of funding supporting the Wensum DTC, we need to explore with the UEA what could they still offer in terms of guidance on this issue.
Since the workshop, discussion has continued on the potential to have an Officer in post to support and deliver the groups ambitions. Discussions are ongoing with this and a business case is to be presented to the Broads Catchment Partnership group in early Jan to fund this position
The rest of the meeting was spent going through the recommendations from the workshop, which had been transferred into a working task list, with a set of short, medium and long term outcomes. These outcomes have been associated with the recently drafted Wensum DWP plan produced for DEFFA, so we have a draft consolidated list of activities.
Whilst the Ecology group led by the Wensum Working Group had met and made some sound progress on many of their actions, including assigning ownership and delivery dates, the other groups agreed to take away the specific tasks and review the words and the detailed specifics. It is important that we have an agreed draft to present at the BCP group meeting in early Jan, as this is the basis of any business case in terms of what we intend a Support Officer to deliver against.
Action: Lizzie agreed to review these assigned to UWFCG by 5th Jan.
Action: Rory agreed to review these assigned to the Morphology group by 5th Jan
Action: Kelvin to discuss with Neil and Jonah which tasks would be specifically owned by the project Officer.
We agreed that bringing the wider community on board would be a really prudent move and as such John Flowerdew offered to act as a co-ordination point for all Parish Councils across the Wensum Valley. We would scope the use of river wardens and local people taking an active role in reducing rural pollution. Kelvin suggested this could be a prime target of some form of NCC LIFT Community grant, to provide the skills and knowledge to deliver the necessary outcomes and that it should be modelled on schemes running elsewhere in the region.
Action: Kelvin to arrange financial workshop with NCC
Action: John Flowerdew to scope definition of engagement with Parish Councils
The group agreed to have their own distribution list of members, adhering to GDPR principles. The formation of this would be from attendee list from the 8th Oct and others that agree to become members via invitation.
Action: Kelvin to configure a membership and distribution list, all data will reside in the secure BASG CIC Wensum google dropbox.
In terms of the group’s governance, the formation of sub catchment partnerships is an agenda item on the next Broads Catchment Partnership meeting.
Chair BASG CIC
Wensum Catchment Partnership Activity Plan Draft 3 Attached to download below
The EA and IFM would like to invite you to a FREE one day Weed Management Workshop to be held at Wicksteed Park
Weed Management WorkshopWeed Management Workshop Wicksteed Park, Barton Road, Kettering NN15 6NJ 15th February 2020
Our aim is that by improving knowledge within the angling community and of active club members about how best to manage and control weed, your fisheries will benefit.We would like to invite you to a FREE one day Weed Management Workshop to be held at Wicksteed Park (postcode NN15 6NJ).
Our aim is that by improving knowledge within the angling community and of active club members about how best to manage and control weed, your fisheries will benefit.The workshop will look at all aspects of weed management and control including what water plants there are, how they work and the problems they can cause, invasive non-natives plants, mechanical removal, algal control and much more.It will aim to help you:
- Create a balanced fishery
- Realise the importance of aquatic weed management
- Understand techniques available for controlling difficult plants
This workshop has been developed by the Environment Agency and the Institute of Fisheries Management (IFM). We are able to offer your club, or fishery up to 4 places completely free of charge. Further places may be available on request.
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