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I have now agreed a date and venue for next years event to be held on Sunday the 13th Sep...

East of England Forum Cambridge 14th Nov 2019

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Regional Forum Colchester 14th Nov  2019 Thursday 14th November 2019 Quy Mill Hotel,...

East  Anglia Water Situation Reports 2019

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Please see the attached montly Water Situation Reports for East Anglia.  See the att...

WWG meeting 2nd Decl 2019 Agenda

WWG meeting 2nd Decl 2019 Agenda

2nd Dec 2019 @ Note Bawdeswell Village Hall 18:00 – 20:30 Agenda Matters Arisin...

Weed Management Workshop Feb 2020

Weed Management Workshop Feb 2020

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Wensum Stakeholder Workshop 8th Oct

Wensum Stakeholder Workshop 8th Oct

After two years of effort and much discussion here is the outcome of the efforts 33 Stake...

Relief Channel Survey Report 2019

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WWG-News

WWG-News (16)

Saturday, 12 October 2019 13:31

Wensum Stakeholder Workshop 8th Oct

Written by

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After two years of effort and much discussion here is the outcome of the efforts

33 Stakeholders took part in an engaging session held at Bawdeswell Village Hall.
The day started with an exhibition in the adjacent activities room, with displays from WACA, EA, BASG, Chris Turnbull and others informing people of the history, reference material and images and sounds from the Wensum Valley.

WPPF slide 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The workshop started with an introduction from Cass Singleton a member of the BASG CIC, who helped compile the basis of the workshop based around a report on the Past Present and Future of the river Wensum.

IMG 20191008 113639 small

This was followed by a series of presentations from Kelvin Allen, the Chair of BASG CIC, who highlighted some of the report’s findings and challenges facing the Wensum.

He then went on to explain how changes in governance adopting an operational catchment based approach with engagement across all stakeholders could bring together society for the benefits of the river and its surrounding environment and people.

Finally some proposals were presented on potential governance structures to enable this, which would be the basis of the afternoons syndicate exercises. An engaging question and answer session was then facilitated by Paul Allen, with 3 key points recorded for later reference

1) Are we actually undertaking restoration to a known state in time, or are we actually undertaking actually more of the river recovery and not necessarily to a given point in history?
2)  What definition are we restoring to? Either a chalk stream, Lowland River or its classified and defined SSSI classification.
3)  Sources of reference material were defined back in 2005 by Southampton University.

After a working lunch, delegates formed into 3 working groups based around 3 themes.

Morphology (Transportation Erosion Flow)

Pollution (Sedimentation Agriculture Industrial)

Ecology (Plants & Bugs Habitat Fish)

Paul Allen then asked delegates to work through 3 syndicate exercises scoping Objectives, Outcomes and Governance Structures for each theme. The outputs from these are listed below:

Feedback Reports from team Morphology

Feedback Reports from team Pollution

Feedback Reports from team Ecology

 I would like to thank all the delegates who attended and made the day both engaging and meeting all its expectations and outcomes.

A special thanks must go to John Mallen and his team at the Village Hall who looked after us admirable through the day, with its excellent facilities. Whilst the ongoing support from Cass, Rory and Neil have made this possible. 

I received the following feedback from Tim Ellis, long time Wensum conservationist and angler reflecting on the day’s events.

BASG/Wensum Working Group River Wensum Stakeholder Workshop October 8 2019

"Many thanks to Kelvin and Cass for arranging and organising this, working with a professional facilitator, Paul.

From the perspective of an angler and conservationist, with involvement of varying degrees in fisheries and restoration work on the river for upwards of thirty years, this event was like a breath of fresh air! For years, especially in the early days of organisations like NACA, there was always an us and them atmosphere - us being the anglers, generally a long-haired unkempt bunch, and them being guys in suits. The guys in suits were largely the forerunners of today’s Environment Agency, variously labelled NRA, AWA, etc depending it seemed on what year it was, and historically they didn’t do conservation. We did, and there was always a clash, and every attempt to restore the river to a better environment for fish (and other things) was met with obstacles and red tape.

Nowadays of course, things are different. We still have our share of red tape, but thank goodness EA and now Natural England are these days on side with conservation.

Latterly we have had Anglers Consultative and Fisheries Action Plans, still sitting around tables with guys in suits, getting a bit less “us and them” as time moves on, but still the poor old Wensum is suffering from the ills inflicted by past generations of river engineers and a burgeoning human population. There are new, different, sticking points such as lack of funding and the constraints of working in what is now a SSSI/SAC designated site to be overcome.

The stakeholder meeting was called in an attempt to bring all parties together to form what is known as a Catchment Based Approach.

For the first time, we saw anglers, landowners, farmers, conservationists and statutory bodies all sitting down together and thrashing out approaches to solving some of the rivers problems. We talked about everything from Morphology, Ecology and Pollution, through Silt Traps, Cover Crops, American Signal Crayfish and Himalayan Balsam, to Beavers, Conduits and Constructive Wetlands.

The Morphology guys came up with a brilliant strap-line: “Sea-Trout at Swanton Morley”. I kept quiet but was tempted to suggest our group, Pollution, could use “Beavers on the Blackwater” but perhaps something less controversial like “Slowing the Flow”, (relating to field run-off) would have been more appropriate....

After the dust has settled, Kelvin and Cass are working to set up a formal group to run with the Catchment concept. Two eminent professionals have come forward to oversee Invertebrate and Macrophyte surveying, (including analysis of existing data) which will give us a monitoring system for the rivers health ongoing.

We hope this meeting will be the start of a new chapter for the river Wensum, a river for which we all care deeply and passionately".

Tim Ellis, (Chair) Wensum Anglers Conservation Association; Wensum Working Group member.

We look forward into taking the outcomes forward together, making the Wensum a better place for all.

Regards

Kelvin
Chair BASG CIC

Friday, 16 August 2019 13:24

Wensum Stakeholder Workshop and Exhibition

Written by

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After two years of effort and much discussion, we have set a date to bring all the stakeholders together to agree a new goverenance structure to support the river and its challenges. The work in bringing together the Wensum Past Present and Future report, led us to believe anglers alone can't resolve the rivers challenges. This is all about working together for the better good. .

River Wensum Stakeholder Workshop 8th Oct 2019

Bawdeswell Village Hall , Reepham Road, Bawdeswell,  Norfolk, NR20 4RU

10:30     Wensum: Past, Present & Future Exhibition with Evidence, Gallery & Coffee

11:30     Workshop starts

13:00     Lunch

14:00     Group Syndicates

16:00     Close 

Attending?  Please book you availability using this link: 

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/wensum-stakeholders-workshop-tickets-67205727139

 Drop In Exhibition.  An exhibition of artwork, articles and reference material from the Wensum will be available for the public to view throughout the day in the Activities room, as a public drop in centre.

 Workshop Arrangements. 

The Workshop will be held in the Main Hall.  Delegates will join structured themed groups, aligned to existing activities including morphology, flow, diffuse pollution, point source pollution, fisheries, invertebrates, and monitoring.

The day will commence with an introduction to the proposed Catchment Based approach.  The afternoon session will allow delegates, in groups, to contribute proposals and ideas regarding Project Governance, Objectives and Measurable Outcomes.

For reference, the River Wensum: Past, Present and Future paper and proposals circulated in June 2019 for consultation in July 2019 are available here.

Stakeholder Engagement is Key.  For the day to achieve most benefit, engagement and representation from across all stakeholders is essential.  The stakeholder community has clearly spent much effort in the previous decade on the River Wensum with varied levels of success in making improvements in addressing Water Framework Directive issues.  This a rare chance to make a difference in creating change in how the river is managed going forward to sustain what is, in our opinion, the East of England’s most precious river.

In Summary.  We look forward in seeing either yourself and/or a representative from your organisation on the 8th Oct 2019. Please book your place via the following link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/wensum-stakeholders-workshop-tickets-67205727139

Kind Regards,

Kelvin & Cass

Kelvin Allen Chair Wensum Working Group

Cass Singleton Member Wensum Working Group

 

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See the attached latest restoration news from the river river Wensum commissioned by the EA and NE.

 

 

Monday, 10 June 2019 14:12

Wensum Past Present and Future Consultation

Written by

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The document led from an investigation of issues impacting on roach within the Wensum, but as members Tim Ellis and Cass Singleton soon found. The surrounding catchment is having a real impact on the river, much of which was heavily reported and investigated back in 2009/10, but even with 1000's of pages of documented evidence little or no progress has been made on these core issues. Indeed some are now saying that with reduced highways maintenance, reduction in agriculture subsidies and many farmers converting to maize production, things have actually got worse.

With invertebrates reported by both S&TA and Buglife as at an all time low on the Wensum and seemingly poor levels of fish, any restoration works exposing clean gravels and back channels creating improved habitat, soon gets choked with silt and pollution and its back to square one, without fixing the core source of the issue.   

The doument gives a potted history of the Wensum and the issues it faces today, with a set of recommendations on how to moce this forward using a more consolidated approach, building on the Catchment Based Approach that has brought success to many river valleys across England.

The presentaion is available in the downloadable attachment below.

 

 

Sunday, 24 March 2019 16:34

Calls fors a consolidated approach on the Wensum

Written by

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Kelvin Allen Chair of the Wensum Working Group has met with key stakeholders and presented a case of a consolidated approach in dealing with defused pollution and restoration from the current state of affairs.

The presentation led from an investigation of issues impacting on roach within the Wensum, but as members Tim Ellis and Cass Singleton soon found. The surrounding catchment is having a real impact on the river, much of which was heavily reported and investigated back in 2009/10, but even with 1000's of pages of documented evidence little or no progress has been made on these core issues. Indeed some are now saying that with reduced highways maintenance, reduction in agriculture subsidies and many farmers converting to maize production, things have actually got worse.

With invertebrates reported by both S&TA and Buglife as at an all time low on the Wensum and seemingly poor levels of fish, any restoration works exposing clean gravels and back channels creating improved habitat, soon gets choked with silt and pollution and its back to square one, without fixing the core source of the issue.   

There has been some positive feedback following the presentation and a number of groups now want to discuss a more consolidated approach, building on the Catchment Based Approach that has brought success to many river valleys across England.

Time will only tell, if this is the start of a journey of improvement.

The presentaion is available in the downloadable attachment below.

 

 

Saturday, 23 February 2019 12:10

Previous Wensum Fishery Study Papers 2007-2013

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See the attached previous histroic papers on the river Wensum fishery commissioned by the EA

 

 

Thursday, 21 February 2019 14:48

Wensum Rural Sediment Tracing Report 2010

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The Environment Agency enlisted APEM to undertake a detailed study of sediment tracing acorss the Wensum in 2010.

To read the full technical research paper click here.

How this gets resolved is another issue!

 

Wednesday, 06 November 2019 20:00

WWG meeting 2nd Decl 2019 Agenda

Written by

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2nd Dec 2019 @ Note Bawdeswell Village Hall 18:00 – 20:30

Agenda

Matters Arising

Group : EcologyInvertebrates - Governance Body -  Lead Body - Nominated Steering Group Member(s) - Group Member(s)

Objective 1 - Identify gaps in current knowledge of invertebrate measures and monitoring techniques

Outcome 1 - Report on the gap analysis between the respective bodies reporting on Invertebrate status.

Objective 2 - Create a task group with expert advice to work through objective 1

Outcome 2 - Identify the reasons for variance and agree a way forward on measures for the river Wensum

Objective 3 - Create a volunteer river fly workforce for the river Wensum

Outcome 3 - Define and quantify the scale of a river fly monitoring scheme for the river Wensum and agree volunteer engagement

Objective 4 - Define an appropriate baseline level of Invertebrates going forward

Outcome 4

Strengths, Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats

Ecology – Habitats -  Governance Body -  Lead Body - Nominated Steering Group Member(s) - Group Member(s)

Objective 1 - Identify and create off channel areas to increase habitat and refuge

Outcome 1 - Provision of 150 SqM of additional off channel habitat and refuge annually (Middle and Lower Reaches)

Objective 2 - Identify and create head water areas to increase diversity and habitat

Outcome 2 - Provision of 100 SqM of additional off channel habitat and refuge annually (Upper Reaches)

Objective 3 - Define current understanding of macrophytes (plants) across all reaches of the Wensum

Outcome 3 - Define study and survey upstream locations to support outcome 2

Strengths, Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats

Ecology – Fish - Governance Body -  Lead Body - Nominated Steering Group Member(s) - Group Member(s)

Objective 1 - Define indicator species and baseline densities across the river

Outcome 2 - Document the SSSI designations and understanding of macrophytes (plants) across all reaches of the Wensum, building on the 6 year Natural England assessment period.

Objective 3 –TBA on a plan for Roach?

Outcome 3 - TBA

Objective 4 –TBA on a plan for Predation?

Outcome 4 - TBA

Objective 5 –TBA on a plan on Salmonids?

Outcome 5 – TBA

Group - Pollution - Point Source Highways - Governance Body -  Lead Body - Nominated Steering Group Member(s) - Group Member(s)

Objective - Reduce pollution from Highways (acting as conduit more than source) by 2027.

Outcome 1 - Identification of point source pollution from Highways (acting as conduit/pathway for diffuse and urban Pollution more than source) by December 2020.

Outcome 2 - Anglers to report run-off events to Environment Agency hotline

AOB

 



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Following further studies from the Environment Sciences team at UEA led by Richard Cooper, their studies have concluded through the analysis of water and riverbed sediment samples across the river Wensum catchment, their research demonstrates that STW;s significantly impact upon the phosphorus dynmics of this lowland calcareous river system.

To read the full technical research paper click here.

How this gets resolved is another issue!

 

Tuesday, 05 December 2017 13:51

River Wensum - the battle continues

Written by

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The group continues with its objection to the planned recycling plant in Lenwade, which the applicate has now applied for a 2nd time.

We have not only got a letter of objection from Mark Lloyd this time round, but are lobbying hard with Natural England on why they have no objections to this plant adjacent to a SSSI and SAC which Natural England are paid to protect.

See http://eplanning.norfolk.gov.uk/PlanAppDisp.aspx?AppNo=C%2f5%2f2017%2f5007 Both Mark's letter and my own from WWG are available to view from this link.

If any body wants to offer their support to this objection, please email your comments to mawp@norfolk.gov.uk

Regards

Kelvin

 

 

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