LAND YEO FRIENDS
Minutes of Meeting Held 2nd February 2023
PRESENT Stewart Edwards, Paul Trowbridge, David Robinson, Tim Bessant,
Frances Harrison, Geoff Harrison, Eric Holdsworth, Joel Coniston
APOLOGIES Mike Adames, Richard Westwood
The group welcomed Joel Coniston who is interested in becoming a volunteer within the group.
1 MINUTES – Previous minutes agreed.
2 FINANCES/GRANTS –Boat and trailer insurance £56.64 paid. Balance outstanding £323.40. Possible future expenditure web site subscription increase, weed clearing insurance and tools. £150 of the balance is earmarked for BART work .
3 RIVER CLEANING – EA contractors completed weed removal behind Castlewood and
South Clevedon Playing Field,. Handwork was carried out behind the Medical Centre, downstream of Old Dairy Court culvert and along Jacobs Walk towards the end of December. The machine work alongside Churchill Avenue and the reeds spanning the river near Marshall field have been ommitted. Recent communications with the catchment manager have not been easy, the January flooding on the levels having taken priority with the EA.
A great deal of debris was thrown onto the frozen river by school children near Meadow Road before Christmas, much of it was wood and a good hour was spent removing as much as possible before the ice melted. The headmaster’s PA was informed at Clevedon school, at her request an email with photograph was sent, despite promising to send someone to look at it, nothing has happened.
Another load of debris appeared around the same time, mostly by Jacobs Walk. A small work party was organised on the 21st January 2023,virtually all of the debris was recovered. Items recovered consisted of two B&M trolleys, a green waste wheely bin, two traffic cones, a washing basket, several tree branches, bits of wood and two refuse bags of assorted bottles and cans.
Another small work party will be organised soon to check the river from the Scout Hut to South Clevedon Playing fields.
The litter bin and cover by the Medical Centre bridge has repeatedly been thrown into the river, following reports from nearby residents the council have recovered both and taken them away, there is no longer a bin at this location.
Two Teatro chairs have been thrown in next to their premises, Stewart Edwards will offer to pull them out.
As a riparian owner, Stewart Edwards submitted a report on 9th November 2022 through the EA Wessex Region Enquiries route about the restricted flow of the river toward Clevedon. The main points raised related to the M5 culvert. There is a likely silt trap as the M5 embankment has settled by approximately 0.5 metres. There is a visible build up of silt near the outlet of the M5 culvert and of the Court Lane culvert. The initial reply from EA Catchment Manager seemed very encouraging, he said the culverts were at least two years overdue for inspection and they would be cleansed/jetted to remediate any silt issue. However, the build-up of silt in the open section between the two culverts was not mentioned. Clarification on this was requested and the reply stated the silt could not be removed as there was no access. It has since pointed out there is access and it has been used in the past. Both by the EA and by caravans illegally set up at the foot of the slope; it has since become overgrown through lack of use. The Catchment Manager has since apologised for the delay in replying due to the recent flooding on the levels and a major incident having been declared. He is hopeful to address the points raised in two-three weeks time.
4 EQUIPMENT – All good
5 FOOTPATHS/WALKS – 2RW mentioned in North Somerset Resident Magazine.
6 LEVELS & FLOW – Following heavy rain, levels of flow increased at times in November 2022, the level dropped slightly around the 23rd November 2022 following the lowering of Cooks Clyse to the winter level of 4.7m. Much higher levels occurred up stream of Old Dairy Court (ODC) following the torrential rain after Christmas, despite the ODC screen having been cleared on the
12th December 2022 it had become blinded to a depth of about 0.75 m by the 15th January 2023, in part due to the EA weed cutting that had taken place before Christmas and also from some of the wood thrown in to break the ice when the river was frozen.
After e mailing the EA with photographs , the screen was cleared again by Curo on the
16th January, 2023 levels and flow have since returned to normal for the time of year.
7 REPORT OF RIVER SECTION
Tim’s section – (The Yearling Ditch to Northern Way) To measure the silt build up, soundings were taken between the M5 and Court Lane culverts using a depth gauge calibrated in decimetres to a depth of 1.0 meters, photos of the soundings and report to the EA can be provided.
Stewart’s section – (Northern Way to Tyres Direct) A great deal of debriswas thrown in by school children trying to break the ice on the last week of term before Christmas, much of it was recovered. On the 16th January 2023 the EA contractors turned up and finished some of the riverbank by
Powells Acres and at the back of the Medical Centre.
Town section – (Tyres Direct to the Curzon Cinema). Its good to report that the NSC trash screen is now receiving regular attention and was last cleared on the 16th January 2023. The ODC screen was cleared on the 12th December 2022, but had to be cleared again on the 16th Janurary 2023, this was mainly due to loose weed following EA maintenance and inappropriate wood thrown in to break the ice. Stewart now has an email address for Curo to report and attach photos when the trash screen needs
Curzon section – (Curzon Cinema to Strode Road Bridge) Two of Teatro’s outside chairs were recently noted in the river, SE will offer to recover. Saplings are growing from the riverbank in
South Clevedon Playing Field. A small work party will be organised to check this section with the boat. The machine weed cutting between Churchill Avenue and Strode Road appears to have been missed, although a big clump of reeds just upstream have been removed by the hand work contractors.
Paul’s section – (Strode Road Bridge to the outfall including Jacobs Walk) A LYF work party was recently organised to clear debris mostly between Strode Road and Heron Bridge (please see river cleaning). The EA hand work contractors also attended December/January 2023 to progress weed removal with the boat and cutting back the riverbank. They have only cleared the right-hand bank and have not touched the bank on the Jacobs Walk side, or a large clump of reed near
Marshalls Field. North Somerset Council are hopeful of completing the replacement footpath bridge from St Andrews Drive in February 2023.
8 WATER QUALITY – Result from samples taken 2nd Jan 2023.
Phosphate readings much lower. Pipe returned to running at about 1.0 ppm. There continues to be a pattern of higher phosphate levels at and downstream of the Southern Bridge sample point
Nitrate readings are notably higher this time.
Phosphate (ppm) Nitrate (ppm)
Court Lane culvert 0.03 1.00
Medical Centre foot bridge 0.03 2.50
Strode Road Bridge 0.03 2.50
Discharge from pipe 1.00 —
Southern Way bridge 0.10 2.50
Marshalls Field foot bridg e 0.25 2.50
9 PUBLICITY– The North Somerset Resident Magazine has a feature in about the Two Rivers Walk. It was agreed we would submit a follow up article on the recent river clearance.
10 WEBSITE– Hits on the site continue at a low level.
11 ANY OTHER BUSINESS – Richard Westwood contacted Samantha Phillips at
North Somerset Council to ask if insurance cover could be provided to enable LYF to remove brambles, buddleia etc on riverbanks owned by North Somerset.
SP has replied stating that NSC cannot provide insurance cover for 3rd parties. If cover can be obtained elsewhere, permission can be given for LYF to work on North Somerset land following an agreed protocol and scope of works. In the same way Clevedon Woodcutters are allowed to work on Dial Hill.
Next meetings 4th May 2023, 3rd August 2023, AGM 7th September2023 in the Oak Room at the Curzon. Meetings start at 19.30.
LAND YEO FRIENDS
Minutes of Meeting Held 3rd November 2022
PRESENT Frances Harrison, Stewart Edwards, Geoff Harrison, Mike Adames, David Robinson, Tim Bessant, Richard Westwood
APOLOGIES Paul Trowbridge, Eric Holdsworth
1 MINUTES – Previous minutes agreed.
2 FINANCES/GRANTS – Boat and trailer insurance due 2nd December 2022.
Lloyds bank forms have been signed for Tim to take over as treasurer. Local historian Jane Lily has kindly made a donation of £40 in appreciation of the groups work. The balance including Jane’s donation is £380.04.
3 RIVER CLEANING – Some machine weed clearing was carried out by contractors in early September, from Northern Way. They worked upstream but did not complete as far as the Court Lane culvert and approx. 100 m of weed was left in the river, they also cleared downstream to Powells Acres. The machine was then moved to Southern Way and worked up towards Heron Bridge and down to the
Outfall. Just over a third of a mile from Heron Bridge to South Clevedon playing fields, most of which would have previously been cleared by machine has not been touched, there has also been no further hand work in the sections that cannot be accessed by machines. Since August a good exchange of emails has taken place with the new catchment manager. Regarding weed growth, weed clearing, riparian owners responsibilities, spraying (or lack of it) also the potentially increased flood risk due to lack of maintenance and exceptional weed growth. In mid September he was hopeful more of the machine and hand work would be completed soon. An update on the lack of progress was sent last week, so far there’s been no reply.
Stewart with help from his son pulled two willow tree branches out of the river by Jacobs Walk, they had fallen in from the willow tree that had been cut through.
On the 28th September two litter bin covers and an Asda trolley were removed by the Medical Centre bridge, the covers were taken to Clevedon Town Councils office car park for collection and a much appreciated thank you was received from the Deputy Town Clerk. The trolley was taken back to Asda. Another trolley was recovered upstream from Northern Way and returned to its owner Pets at Home.
From observations so far there appears to be very little rubbish to be recovered after EA weed clearing, a few items have been spotted in the river including a child’s car seat. In view of the reduction in EA maintenance this year and if it’s possible for us to acquire public liability insurance should we consider some Saturday morning work parties for river bank brush and bramble cutting on North Somerset land.
4 EQUIPMENT – All good.
5 FOOTPATHS/WALKS –.Buddleia and brambles encroaching on Jacobs Walk and around footpath sign have been cleared.
6 LEVELS & FLOW – Levels and flow are still low especially where the Land Yeo flows into the town. This was to be expected during the very dry summer, however apart from improved flow immediately following rain, levels and flow are still generally low for the time of year. This is despite a 4.8m level
at Cooks Clyse where plenty of water is flowing over the weir and away from the LY. The lower standard of machine weed clearing this year could well be a contributing factor, a clump of mostly watercress was left in front of the entrance to the M5 culvert 100meters of weed was left where the LY flows out of the Court Lane culvert. Past experience indicates if there is any restriction in this part of the river, natural flow will be diverted down the Yearling Ditch and away from the town.
There is also an increasing build up of weed and silt at the downstream end of the M5 culvert which is in part of the river where access is difficult, this along with the weed at the entrance to the culvert, has been reported to the EA Catchment Manager. He has suggested maintenance of the culvert, along with the entrance and exit would most likely be the responsibility of the owners, Highways England.
7 REPORT OF RIVER SECTIONS-
Tim’s section – (The Yearling Ditch to Northern Way) There are continuing weed and silt problems both sides of M5 and downstream of Court Lane.
Stewart’s section – (Northern Way to Tyres Direct) The main channel is now largely clear of weed except for a large clump that was left spanning the river behind Castlewood. The hand work contractors cleared the bank as far as the medical centre but as yet have not returned to complete down to the medical centre bridge, brambles growing on the bank will become more of an issue if not cleared annually. Two council waste bin covers and an Asda trolley were recovered by the bridge.
Town section – (Tyres Direct to the Curzon Cinema) Regular clearing of the NSC screen has continued although following recent storms and the start of leaf fall its now looks like its overdue again. Its condition will continue to be monitored, as will the Curo trash screen which is also blinding, apparently. Curo have agreed to inspect it on a regular basis.
Curzon section – (Curzon Cinema to Strode Road Bridge) There has been no progress regarding the over grown river bank at the back of Coleridge Vale North. Branched Bur Reed has spread rapidly upstream from Strode Road bridge. In previous years this has been cleared by a machine from Churchill Avenue. This year it has been missed, as has South Clevedon playing field and due to the banks not having been flailed, saplings from the roots of the trees planted nearby are growing on the river bank.
Paul’s section – (Strode Road Bridge to the outfall including Jacobs Walk) To date there has been no weed clearing by the EA between Strode Road bridge and Heron bridge.
8 WATER QUALITY – The following results are from samples taken on 28th September 2022
Probably due to the prolonged dry weather, there was nothing flowing from the pipe.
A similar trend seems to be developing, Nitrate levels decrease through the town and phosphates increase from Strode Road bridge.
Phosphate (ppm) /Nitrate (ppm)
Court Lane culvert 0.25 /2.0
Medical centre foot bridge 0.25/ 1.0
Strode Road bridge 0.50/ 1.0
Discharge from pipe — —
Southern Way bridge 0.75 / 0.20
Marshalls Field foot bridge 0.75/ 0.20
For comparison these were taken on the 4th July 2022
Phosphate (ppm) / Nitrate (ppm)
Court Lane culvert 0.50 / 1.0 0
Medical centre foot bridge 0.50 / 0.50
Strode Road bridge 0.50 / 0.20
Discharge from pipe 1.00
Southern Way bridge 1.00 /0.10
Marshalls Field foot bridge 1.00/ 0.10
9 PUBLICITY– Local Reach article published.
10 WEBSITE– Continues to receive hits and two people have made enquires.
11 ANY OTHER BUSINESS – Richard Westwood to ask if North Somerset council will cover the insurance to enable LYF to remove brambles on North Somerset land.
Meetings booked for the following dates in 2023, 2nd February, 4th May,
3rd August, 7th September AGM. Meetings to take place in the Oak room of the Curzon cinema at nineteen thirty.
Minutes of Land Yeo Friends meeting held on 10th August 2021 at Clevedon Sailing Club
Present Judith West (Councillor), Richard Westwood (Councillor), Stewart Edwards, Mike Adames, Tim Bessant, Paul Trowbridge, Geoff Harrison, Frances Harrison
Apologises David Robinson
1 Minutes were approved of the meeting held on 25th May 2021
2 FINANCES/GRANTS – £257.98, this amount includes monies received from BART to cover future signage and water sampling tests. Small grant application has been made to Clevedon Town council.
3 RIVER CLEANING – Following the last meeting, flow and level dropped in June due to weed growth, the Environment Agency were contacted and they cleared from the Yearling Ditch to the M5 culvert with machines. This greatly improved the situation, after the weed removal there was very little water flowing over the weir at Cooks Clyst.
On 10th August the contractors engaged by the EA have started clearing vegetation from the top of the river bank from Powells Acres to the Medical Centre bridge.
There is a significant clump of weed growing across the river at the downstream end of the M5 culvert, this was missed last year and the EA have been made aware. A reminder will be sent with a photo as this cannot be reached by machines and will need to be cleared by hand by contractors.
4 EQUIPMENT – All good.
5 FOOTPATHS/WALKS – The Two Rivers Walk continues to be popular and there has been no more reports of anyone taking the wrong route through Powells Acres.
Last week it was noted that the grass verges had been flailed along the route of the Two Rivers Walk in Court Lane, well done North Somerset Council. The sign at Jacobs Walk needs growth cut back. Stewart Edwards will attend to this.
6 LEVELS & FLOW – There was a deterioration in level and flow through the town due to weed growth in June, the EA were notified and the situation improved following machine weed clearing from the Yearling Ditch to the M5 on the 1st July.
Otherwise level and flow have been normal with the summer level set at 4.8 m, apart from the occasional small increases following recent bouts of heavy rain.
7 REPORT OF RIVER SECTIONS-
A new plant growth has been seen in three locations the M5 culvert, Strode Road bridge and Northern Way. It has long thin leaves four to five foot high. Photographs are to be taken and sent to EA.
Tim’s section –The section from Court Lane to Northern Way has thankfully stayed fairly clear of weed this summer, normally there would be vigorous watercress growth downstream from Court Lane and last year this section was badly affected by Starwort, of which there has been no sign this year.
Stewart’s section – Thankfully this section has also remained fairly clear of weed this year. Two moorhen chicks have survived and are now almost fully grown, the mallards have not been very successful in raising any young but there is no shortage of them in this section at the moment. Another brood of cross bred domestic ducks have also been released, so along with the four that survived from last year we now have a very varied collection at the moment. It was very nice to see the kingfisher sat on an overhanging branch here recently.
Town section – Regular clearing of the North Somerset trash screen has thankfully continued, however there has now been a few issues with the one in the Old Dairy Court. Curo Group have now taken the maintenance in-house and it had not been cleared as regularly as it had been in the past, Stewart Edwards keeping an eye on it and can let them know if there is a continuing problem with it not being cleared.
Curzon section – Despite emails from the EA Catchment Manager that the working bank behind Coleridge Vale North would be cleared, as far as we know there has not been any progress through the summer and this will be followed up.
Paul’s section – Heron Bridge is very overgrown. The roots of a Willow tree are encroaching the river in Westbourne Avenue. There is a large tree overhanging the river in Marshalls Field. It was decided to wait to see what action the EA take on their next weed clearance, which is due shortly.
8 WATER QUALITY- Another set of river water samples were taken on the 16th June 2021 using our test kits at the same locations, the next set of tests will be carried out on or near the 16th September 2021.
Phosphate (ppm) Nitrate (ppm)
Court Lane culvert 0.10 10
Medical Centre footbridge 0.10 10
Strode Road bridge 0.25 5 .
Marshalls Field footbridge 0.50 5
(Phosphate threshold of concern is 0.10 ppm and Nitrate threshold of concern 1.0 ppm)
Geoff Harrison to update and issue water quality graphs.
9 PUBLICITY- Nothing raised. David Robinson passed on a message asking if anyone had any interesting stories about the river to contact him.
10 WEBSITE- Elevated levels of interest continue
11 ANY OTHER BUSINESS – A request was sent to the website from a resident of Congresbury, asking if we would consider extending our scope to include the river Yeo. A vote was taken and it was decided we did not have the manpower or funds to do this. We sent an e mail suggesting she contact her local group YACWAG.
Strode Road Fields a freedom of information request was sent to the EA, their response was they had no records of the phosphorous contamination. The request was made as the group found phosphate in a recent test of a pipe discharging into the river at the west end of the field . The group agreed to do additional testing every six weeks for a period before raising an incident with the EA.
12 MEETINGS – booked for the following dates- 7th September 2021 AGM and 2nd November 2021. Stewart to confirm with the Sailing Club.
Minutes of Meeting Held 25th May 2021
PRESENT Tim Bessant, Judith West, Paul Trowbridge, Stewart Edwards, Geoff Harrison,
Frances Harrison, Mike Adames, David Robinson
APOLOGIES Richard Westwood
- MINUTES Previous minutes accepted as read.
- FINANCE/GRANTS Funds held of £257.88. Judith West advised we will be unable to apply for a small grant from Clevedon Town Council, this year, as Land Yeo Friends have received grants for the last three years. Geoff Harrison noted approximately £153 of the money held in the funds, was received from BACP and is ring fenced for future expenditure on water quality project.
- RIVER CLEANING Due to the COVID restrictions following last year’s EA weed clearing, it was not possible to organise the usual work party and boat to clear up the debris from the river and bank. Fortunately there wasn’t much to clear up so earlier this year as a one household team Stewart and Shirley cleared the bank from Marshalls Field to the top end of South Clevedon playing field during three afternoon visits. There was however a considerable amount thrown in upstream from the NSC trash screen, when the restrictions were eased Tim and Stewart managed to clear it and amongst other things recovered several traffic cones and a couple of old bikes. Several items were also cleared from the bank upstream from Northern Way and two bin liners were filled with mostly bottles and cans from the verges on part of the
Two Rivers Walk along Court Lane up to the bridge over the M5.
- EQUIPMENT No issues
- FOOTPATHS/WALKS Stewart has noticed that the Two Rivers Walk remains popular. Two new signs have been erected on Kingston Avenue, hopefully this will help walkers avoid following the river onto private land in Powells Acres. Thanks go to funding from BACP for the signs.
- LEVELS AND FLOWS There has been a reasonably good flow through the town this year, which in part could be due to improved maintenance of the trash screens, despite recent periods of heavy rain levels have not increased much. If anything, under steady conditions levels are now slightly lower, probably due to the NSC trash screen being cleared to its full depth, as a result, silt is being mobilised which has improved depths in some of the shallow sections. The expected increase in level at Cooks Clyse occurred at the end of March when it was raised 10cm to the summer level of 4.8 m.
- REPORTS OF RIVER SECTIONS
Tim’s section (The Yearling Ditch to Northern Way) The section from Court Lane to
Northern Way has thankfully remained clear of weed so far this year.
Stewart’s section (Northern Way to Tyres Direct) In April and May 2020 this section of the river was clogged with weed and algae, thankfully it has not happened this year and so far has remained clear. The waterfowl have not be very successful raising young, one moorhen chick has survived from a brood of nine, the Heron has been a regular visitor and was probably responsible for the disappearing chicks. No ducklings have appeared, a nest was found and at one stage had eight eggs in it, however during one night in early March they all disappeared, a wildlife camera was obtained and using eggs that had been laid in the river and used as bait, the culprit was found to be a large fox who picked them up and carried them off in its mouth, over three nights of footage it appeared every night.
Town section (Tyres Direct to the Curzon Cinema) Last autumn following the EA weed clearing and leaf fall the usual problems of inadequate and infrequent clearing of the NSC trash screen occurred and considerable amounts of debris were allowed to accumulate. On the advice of the EA, Stewart as a riparian owner living in an area considered to be at risk of flooding from surface water runoff, emailed the NSC Flood Risk Manager, (NSC are responsible for both the maintenance of the trash screen and managing the risk of flooding from surface water runoff) Thankfully it would now appear the importance of keeping the trash screen clear of debris has been recognised and this year it’s been cleared more frequently and to a greater depth. As a result depths have improved in front of the trash screen as silt has been mobilised and items like bottles have been uncovered that are still partially embedded in the silt.
Curzon section (Curzon Cinema to Strode Road Bridge) The EA Catchment Manager was contacted with regard to the obstructed working bank behind Coleridge Vale Road North, they advised plans were being made for this to be cleared and access improved for the contractors before this year’s manual weed clearing takes place.
Paul’s section (Strode Road Bridge to the outfall including Jacobs Walk) Unfortunately the female Swan who has been sitting on her nest of eggs under the Southern Way bridge. Has been attacked and killed.
8 WATER QUALITY – Samples of river water have now been taken and tested twice this year at the same locations, Court Lane, Medical Centre bridge, Strode Road bridge and Marshalls Field.
The first occasion was on the 16th March 2021 using LYF Salifert kits,
The Phosphate readings were all 0.10 ppm except the one from Marshalls Field which was 0.25 ppm. (threshold of concern is 0.10 ppm)
The Nitrate reading were the same in all four locations 25.0 ppm, which was thought to be very high, (threshold of concern 1.0 ppm).
The second set of results were obtained using kits supplied by BART as part of their Land Yeo WaterBlitz sampling taken on May 10th 2021, (these samples were taken following 2 days of heavy rain over the weekend)
The phosphate reading were the same at all 4 locations, 0.02-0.05 ppm (approx. half the value of those taken in March)
The Nitrate readings were much better at about 2.0 ppm (but still double the preferred max)
Another sample was tested for Nitrate with our Salifert kit on May 11th 2021 and gave a similar result of 2.0-5.0 ppm.
An additional sample was taken of water discharging from a drain pipe into the river near Strode Road Sports Field on May 10th, this gave readings of 1.0 ppm for phosphate’s (ten times the threshold of concern).
Geoff Harrison agreed to copy all these results both to Bristol Avon Catchment Partnership and also separately the pipe discharging high phosphate level to the EA as an incident report.PUBLICITY No action
9 WEBSITE Continues to receive hits
10 ANY OTHER BUSINESS The EA have put up notices for herbicide treatment of the river
12 Next meeting 10th August 2021 at 7.30 p.m at Clevedon Sailing Club. Subject to Covid rules on that date.
13th March 2021
During the various pandemic lockdowns river clearance has continued by particular individual members who has cleared much plastic and debris and recently bikes and traffic cones from the river outside the Conservative Club.
As lockdown begins to open, LYF are starting the three year water sampling of phosphates and nitrates through the town, funded by Clevedon Town Council and Bristol Avon Rivers Trust. results will be posted in due course.
Gooseander normally seen much futher North, seen recently on two rivers walk (This is picture off a website)
Christmas 2019 message to supporters in lieu of cancelled meetings
You will doubtless be aware that as a result of the pandemic the LYF have been unable to have our routine meetings or organise a clean-up this year. However behind the scenes we have been active.
We’ve successfully reminded North Somerset Council to keep undertaking routine clearance of the trash screen in front of the culvert that disappears under Queens Square. This is their responsibility and was not being undertaken as often as required. The result was that the river was backing up and flows through the town were being affected. Clearance of the screen also ensures flash flows can get away quickly.
Earlier on in the year there was an unusual and substantial growth of Starwort in the river east of Norther Way. This was severely restricting flows through the town and may have been one of the causes of the substantial pike death toll in the river around Strode Road. The LYF raised this issue with the Environment Agency and explained the issues. It must be said that the EA responded very quickly to our concerns , dredged out vast quantities of weed ( part of which is shown below) and immediately resulted in restored flows to the river through the town.
The EA ceased taking routine water quality samples along the Land Yeo some time ago. This is a nationwide issue. The LYF have concerns about this lack of routine information as phosphates and nitrates remain an issue, in common with many rivers. We have managed to get a grant from Clevedon Town Council to undertake tests for phosphates and nitrates for one year and from the Bristol Avon Catchment Partnership for two subsequent years to create a three year information baseline for the Land Yeo from around Clevedon Court down to the outfall. In doing this we have forged stronger links with a variety of environment bodies as can be seen below.
Bristol Avon Catchment Partnership
On Wednesday 9/12/20 GH had a telephone conference with the Bristol Avon Catchment Partnership (BACP) re our recent grant application. The meeting was hosted by two people from Wessex Water’s catchment partnership team. Also in the meeting was an EA representative, the Catchment Co-ordinator – Bristol Avon & South and West Somerset. I’m pleased to say that BACP confirmed that we have been successful in our application. The application was for £450. £50 was for phosphate and nitrate testing kit, in years two and three of the three year sampling regime. If you remember Clevedon Town Council have provided a grant for year one. £400 was for additional better (finger pointing style) signage around the northern end of Kingston Avenue where it meets the river to alleviate continuing issues with inadvertent trespassing into Powells Acres as people fail to turn right away from the river.
The EA person was there to discuss the sampling. They are very interested in what LYF are doing. They are very aware apparently of dissolved oxygen issues with the Land Yeo. He knew of 4 instances of fish kills as a result of this. He was particularly interested in a precis of LYF’s Stewart Edwards history of the events around Starwort blocking flow down the river, low flows leading to enhances issues with algal blooms and the large number of pike deaths. He is going to discuss further with his operational colleagues re timing of weed clearance etc. He agreed that a suitable sampling regime over the three years would be to take quarterly readings at four locations along our stretch of the river. We need safe access. He agreed with the suggestion that suitable locations that would give the sort of geographic spread he thought would be useful could be
- Opposite Clevedon Court (there is a concrete farm bridge spanning the river we could use 150 yards or so north of Northern way
- Bridge At the Riverside doctors surgery
- Strode Road Bridge (this is the EA’s old sampling point they used to use and therefore links in to their old spread sheet of results)
- Marshalls Field (maybe from the bridge to At Andrews Drive)
The EA man regards the LYF three year sampling regime as very much resetting of a baseline for the river, recognising though that we are using field testing kits rather than laboratory facilities. They really are interested in what the LYF are doing and see us as a uniquely placed organisation to look at this, our, stretch of the river.
The signage can be commenced straight away, requiring permissioning from North Somerset Council. Sampling can start in the new year, hopefully we will have fallen further down the COVID tier regime by then.
We have to provide a short report every year to BACP of what we have done / spent and the results we have achieved.
Bristol Avon Rivers Trust
This is a separate group who have contacted LYF as a result of the above grant application. It is they who are about to commence doing a walk down survey of the Land Yeo from source to outfall with a view to identifying problem areas and solutions and together with Avon Wildlife Trust (who have 4 year improvement project for the North Somerset levels. ) The aim is to improve the Land Yeo catchment working with land owners and also hoping to introduce some habitat features to improve the ecosystem. This habitat work is all upstream of Clevedon, across the levels. GH also had a chat with a representative of the Avon Wildlife Trust who are involved.
BART do a citizens Waterblitz annually and intend to do another in 2021. They are keen for LYF to join in extending the advertising of the event (date still to be ascertained and depends on COVID etc) and encourage out citizen volunteers. There is a nice BART website of previous Waterblitzes. Link below
If you see fly tipping along the river please report it to North Somerset Council. You can do it easily through their website if you have a North Somerset online account or by phone . They have been very responsive to reports.
So I know the LYF haven’t been able to meet or clean-up this year but hopefully this gives you all a bit of cheer that we haven’t stood still and that looking forward the Land Yeo river and catchment improvement seems to be a focus of various environment groups over the next few years and that they are keen to keep the LYF informed and involve us where appropriate.
Thank you for your continued support.
Wishing you all a Happy Christmas and a much brighter 2021
Land Yeo Friends
LAND YEO FRIENDS – ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING HELD ON 1st September 2020 at Clevedon Sailing Club
PRESENT: G Harrison (Chair), S Edwards, M Adames, F Harrison, T Bessant, Cllr Judith West
APOLOGIES: P Trowbridge, D Robinson, Cllr Richard Westwood
- MINUTES OF AGM held on 5th September 2019 were approved
- CHAIRMAN’S REPORT – read out at the meeting; see attached
- TREASURER’S REPORT – M Adames had previously circulated accounts for September 2019 to September 2020. The accounts were approved at the meeting with a minor note of the storage location of long reach equipment.
- ELECTION OF OFFICERS – The following agreed to serve for another year.
Chairperson – G Harrison
Treasurer – M Adames
Secretary – F Harrison
Publicity – D Robinson (nominated in his absence and agreed to by DR post meeting)
Membership and e-mail – F Harrison
River representatives as follows– T Bessant, S Edwards, P Trowbridge
Website – G Harrison
- ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Surfers Against Sewage have recently confirmed that their free public liability insurance for river clean-ups will continue.
Cllr West reminded the meeting of possible funding opportunities available from Clevedon Lions.
Cllr West will investigate possible opportunity for future a meeting location. Dates of future routine LYF meetings to be agreed when location for a meeting is located suitable for COVID-19 regulations.
- DATE OF NEXT AGM – Thursday, 2nd September 2021
- Chairman’s Report 2019-2020
—————————————————————————————————————————————LAND YEO FRIENDS
CHAIRMAN’S REPORT 2019-20
Presented to the Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, 1st September 2020
Aims and Objectives
The basic aims and objectives of the Land Yeo Friends (LYF) remain as:
- Improving and maintaining the Land Yeo river
- Further embedment of the river as an important part of Clevedon
This was another worthwhile year for the LYF, with continued input to the community to maintain the quality of the river and its habitat. The lockdown resulting from the Coronavirus pandemic has restricted meetings of the LYF since March. However, members of the group have continued to have engagement with and recognition from significant stakeholders, Avon Wildlife Trust, the Environment Agency (EA), North Somerset Council and Clevedon Town Council. LYF prompting of the EA during the lockdown has ameliorated a new weed growth hazard and resulted in a significant improvement in the river flows through the town.
The LYF wish to record their appreciation of the valuable input from Clevedon Town Councillors Judith West and Richard Westwood who have been appointed as Council representatives of the LYF. The council appointments reflect the constitution of the group as it was first set up, when the organisation was very much sponsored by the Town Council. The regular attendance Council members provides a close link to the Council and is much valued.
- Appointments for 2019-20 agreed at the 2019 AGM were
- Chairman G Harrison
- Treasurer M Adames
- Publicity D Robinson
- Membership and email F Harrison
- Secretary F Harrison
- River Section Reps Tim Bessant, S Edwards, P Trowbridge
- LYF FINANCES
The group continues to operate on the basis of expenditure required mainly for revenue items with small capital needs. Revenue costs for a meeting room continue to be mitigated by the Curzon Cinema who provide the use of their Oak Room for all our meetings (until closed for the pandemic). The cost of public liability insurance has been mitigated by Surfers against Sewage who allow us to use their insurance for volunteer lead clean ups. The LYF remains solvent with funds exceeding expenditure, with a very small amount of reserves remaining.
Future costs for replacement equipment would not be covered by the small current balance and would require outside funding from donors.
Membership of the group remains low but has been stable for this year. The much increased interest in the website and the Two Rivers Walk during the lockdown has unfortunately not resulted in anyone asking to participate in committee membership.
- The Land Yeo River
The summer watercress growth has been less of a problem in the 2020, however an unusual early summer growth of starwort was a considerable problem, restricting river flows east of the town and causing substantial decreases in flows through the town. Action and rigorous prompting by the LYF resulted in an intervention by the EA to remove a large quantity of weed and improvement in flows through the town.
Water quality remains generally good with considerable evidence of good fish stocks and bird populations. There was a substantial death amongst the pike population attributed by the EA to hot weather related algal blooms, causing large diurnal dissolved oxygen contents in the water, exacerbated by the low flows in the river
The EA have ceased taking water quality sample tests along the Land Yeo which is a matter of concern.
The Two Rivers Walk with a pdf link on our website has proved popular, with a continued increase in traffic since the inauguration of the Two Rivers Walk.
The Two Rivers Walk has become embedded in the town’s facilities and has proved particularly popular during the pandemic lockdown.
Pressure from the LYF and Clevedon Town Council has resulted in resurfacing by North Somerset Council of Jacobs Walk which runs alongside the river, west of Strode Road.
A successful day was spent removing debris, largely plastic but with various other debris, traffic cones and bikes from the Land Yeo. Various additional ad hoc rubbish removals have also been undertaken. Our thanks go in particular to Stuart Edwards for organisation of these works.
Persistent pressure by both the LYF and Clevedon Town Council has resulted in North Somerset Council reinstating the required routine clearance of the trash screen outside the Conservative Club; a longstanding requirement placed on them by the EA
Although the LYF funding is positive at the moment, the funds rely on donations to retain a balance and therefore we are always at threat from a lean donors year. Loss of free services from the Curzon and SAS may create funding issues.
The aging nature of the LYFs members continues to provide a persistent threat to the group’s existence. Whilst litter pickers can be recruited, people to assist in the administration (and continued existence of the group) is much more difficult.
- If the LYF manage to secure funding for simple test kits the LYF intend to instigate a water quality sampling regime of the LYF from the Yearling Ditch, just east of the motorway through to the outfall to the estuary.
- Thank you
The Chairman offers his thanks to all members of the LYF group, river volunteers and statutory bodies who have helped us again this year to look after our river
Chairman of the Land Yeo Friends Sept 2020
Land Yeo Friends Accounts for Year Ending 1st September 2020
Balance brought forward from Sept 2019 £97.42
Income during the period Sept 2019 –Sept 2020
Donation from Clevedon Town Council £150.00
Expenditure for the period Sept 2019-Sept 2020
Printing of Two Rivers Walk Leaflet ( T.Bessant ) £40.00
Boat Insurance ( S.Edwards) £51.64
New Tyre for trailer (S.Edwards) £50.00
Web Site Fee ( G.Harrison) £15.00
Cash in Bank as at Sept 2020 £90.78
LYF assets all located at Meadow Road : 1 strimmer,2 Safety waders, Long handle landing net ,3 Grapnel hooks, Long handle landing net and weed cutter, 2 Long handle rakes, 6 Litter pickers, Flat bottomed boat, Tool kit, 2 Chest waders, Boat trailer, 2 Manure forks, 2 rakes, Pressure Washer Value £60 purchased Oct 2018.
THE LAND YEO FRIENDS MEETING APRIL 2020 WAS CANCELLED AS A RESULT OF THE CORONAVIRUS EPIDEMIC.
In lieu of meeting notes the following is a brief report on the river condition in April and some notes on LYF
RIVER CLEANING –As promised the EA sent a team to clear the buddleia and brush growing on the bank beside Jacob Walk. In addition just upstream from Strode Road Bridge the narrow strip of bank between the end of Churchill Ave and the river has also been cleared, again presumably by the EA, a very good job having been done at both locations.
A large amount of brambles and more buddleia were removed beside Churchill Ave, if this bank can be maintained going forward perhaps it could be a possible location for a couple of benches beside the river, I think this was an idea put forward a few years ago.
The EA have also been asked to clear the large clump of watercress between the Curzon and Waverly House, though currently the swans have decided to build their nest slap bang in the middle of it. They have built a large mound by pulling the watercress out all around and piling it up.
FOOTPATHS/WALKS – Some LYF’s have been using the Two Rivers walk for exercise during the Coronavirus outbreak and there are signs of increased use by members of the public.
LEVELS & FLOW – In February following storms Ciara and Dennis, levels and flow were higher than normal for a few days, March has been mostly dry with normal flow and winter level maintained by Cooks Clyse at 4.7m.
During the first week in April the weir level was increased by the EA to its summer level of 4.8m. The resulting normal increase in flows through the town were much reduced by the early weed growth around the Northern Way section of the Land Yeo.
NOTES BY RIVER SECTION REPORTERS-
YEARLING DITCH TO NORTHERN WAY–it’s all looking very nice at springtime. There are plenty of small fish in the river and I have noticed a couple of large Pike just the other side of Northern Way. There is also a Kingfisher that seems to be in residency nears Cooks Clyse.
The conditions of the Highways England site between Court Lane and the M5 is still good and the new large wooden posts restricting access are still in situ.
NORTHERN WAY TO TYRE COMPANY – As expected the eight moorhens have now reduced to four, there has probably been some fighting, one of them that visits the reporter’s garden regularly, has developed a limp!!
The roach, rudd and pike reappeared mid-March, the heron was also seen soon after, last week the first brood of ducklings were also spotted, initially there were nine but adults and ducklings have not been seen for last couple of days.
The bright conditions recently have rapidly increased the algae and weed growth in several locations along this section.
TOWN SECTION – The storms in February increased levels and flow and the amount of debris accumulating on the trash screen by the Conservative Club. It was good to see that the screen had been cleared during the third week of February and again mid-March.
CURZON TO STRODE ROAD – A request had been made to the EA for weed, mostly watercress, to be cleared behind the cinema, the swans have now pulled out most of it to build a nest in the middle of the river.
The EA have cleared brambles and buddleia from the bank beside Churchill Ave.
STRODE ROAD TO OUTFALL – The EA have cleared buddleia and brambles growing on both banks downstream from Strode Road Bridge. The water is mostly clear from Strode Road to Heron Bridge with lots of small fish visible. There are small areas of weed and the water is cloudy downstream from Heron Bridge. Someone has left tree branches on the bank at the rear of Keenes Way but otherwise all looks quite tidy. The only wildlife on the day of a walk was one moorhen.
WATER QUALITY- Mixture of clear and cloudy sections but worrying amount of very early seasonal weed growth accumulating. Levels of plastic debris along the river are beginning to collect and also around the town. Many people make a point of litter picking on their travels and of course now we are all limited on our movement. If you do pick , don’t forget to wash your hands!!
FINANCES/GRANTS – Balance in LYF account at April 2020 is £90.
Minutes of Meeting Held 6th February 2020
Present Stewart Edwards, David Robinson, Geoff Harrison, Paul Trowbridge, Tim Bessant, Frances Harrison, Judith West, Richard Westwood
Apologies Mike Adames
- MINUTES Minutes accepted as read.
- FINANCE/GRANTS Funds held of £105. Website annual fee of £15 due shortly. Report of an unknown number of Two Rivers Walk lamppost signs needing replacing along the route of the walk, due to the upgrading of lampposts.
- RIVER CLEANING There has been no further weed clearing by the EA or its contractors since the last meeting. The EA have been contacted again and photograph sent regarding the two sections missed between Strode Road and Marshalls Field and the one in front of Waverly House. They have recently been in touch to confirm they will probably visit this week to assess work required to clear river and bank at the three locations.
- EQUIPMENT Nothing to report.
- FOOTPATHS/WALKS Tim will contact Hello Clevedon in spring to publicise the 2RW. The current amount of distributed leaflets still held will be reviewed, further leaflets may need to be obtained, as there is a possibility Tim can hand some out at the Clevedon Flower Show in August.
Jacobs Walk is to be refurbished during March or April by North Somerset Council.
- LEVELS AND FLOWS North Somerset Council’s clearance of the trashscreen upstream of the culvert under Queens Square (located adjacent to the Conservative Club) has been very erratic, despite both Clevedon Town Council and LYF repeated complaints. This in turn held back water during heavy rainfall and on occasions the water level was about 12” (30cm) above normal at the screen. It has just been cleared and is now in a satisfactory condition.
- REPORTS OF RIVER SECTIONS
Tim’s section (The Yearling Ditch to Northern Way) There have been no further problems with the Highways England site between Court Lane and the M5, thankfully the large wooden posts restricting access are still in situ. A Bike was retrieved by Northern Way. Enquires were made locally and the bike (worth £500) has now been returned to its grateful owner.
Stewart’s section (Northern Way to Tyres Direct) The eight Moorhens are still on this section of river. Reed Buntings have been spotted on the feeders by Stewart’s house, this year considerably more present than previous years.
Town section (Tyres Direct to the Curzon Cinema) See comments under levels and flows. Judith West took an action to find out the status of the planning application for a house on the riverbank on the old Staddons timber yard site.
Curzon section (Curzon Cinema to Strode Road Bridge) Stewart spoke to the on-site foreman for the contractors carrying out the Waverly House conversion, apparently they have no plans to remove any of the weed or silt in that section. This information has been forwarded to the EA who will be visiting to assess work required to clear the weed.
Paul’s section (Strode Road Bridge to the outfall including Jacobs Walk) The EA should be visiting this week to assess work required to clear two sections missed during weed clearing between Strode Road and Marshalls Field. The two swans resident on the Land Yeo in Clevedon have currently taken up residence on this section of the river.
8. WATER QUALITY The EA have ceased taking routine phosphate samples from the river in Clevedon as a cost cutting measure. The only remaining EA routine sample point along the complete length of the land Yeo is now just west of Nailsea at Stone Edge Batch. Discussions were held as to the viability of the LYF continuing the sampling regime in Clevedon. Kits cost about £50 and have a limited shelf life. It was agreed not to do this but in the meantime Geoff Harrison to monitor the EA’s online results for the river at Stone Edge Batch and to bring any particular increase to the group’s attention. At that time the strategy would be reconsidered. It was suggested that the LYF should contact the Bristol Avon Catchment Partnership to establish whether any influence could be exerted with them in relation to the phosphate issue.
9. PUBLICITY Nothing to report
10. WEBSITE Hits on the site have continued consistently but have slowed to a level similar to that apparent before the Two Rivers Walk publicity last summer.
11. ANY OTHER BUSINESS The free Surfers against Sewage public liability insurance used for LYF clean-up operations does not cover organic matter removal, such as brushwood. To obtain insurance cover for this sort of work would cost about £100 a year. Paul took an action to contact Clevedon Woodcutters for Wildlife to see if they would be able to assist the LYF in this sort of operation. The Woodcutters carry their own stand-alone insurance.
The Oak Room at The Curzon Cinema has been booked for
2nd April 2020, 4th June 2020,6th August 2020, AGM 3rd September 2020.
Minutes of Meeting Held 5th December 2019
PRESENT David Robinson, Stewart Edwards, Paul Trowbridge, Mike Adames, Tim Bessant,
Judith West, Frances Harrison, Geoff Harrison
APOLOGIES Richard Westwood
- MINUTES Minutes of 3rd of October 2019 accepted as read.
- FINANCE/GRANTS A cheque for trailer Insurance £51.64p was paid to Stewart Edwards. Leaving £150 in the kitty a small grant received from Clevedon Town Council is included is this amount, however a further £50 is needed for a new tyre for the trailer leaving a balance of £100.
- RIVER CLEANING There has been no further weed clearing by the EA or its contractors since the last meeting.. The EA was asked and said they would look into, the two sections between
Strode Road and Marshalls Field and the section in front of Waverly House that had been missed. Stewart Edwards will follow this up with a reminder and some photographs as some of it has now been missed for two years running.
Many thanks to all who helped with the LYF clean-up on the 30th November, all went very smoothly. Approximately eight green bags were filled with small items mostly consisting of plastic bottles, cans, some glass bottles and other plastic items.
There was also an old rotary clothes line, a roll of carpet and an assortment of balls. It was encouraging to find only one traffic cone and none of the larger items like trollies, bikes and scooters that have been recovered in previous years. Surfers against Sewage who kindly provide our insurance will be notified of the haul.
4. EQUIPMENT The EA kindly supplied an assortment of heavy duty vinyl gloves and gauntlets to supplement those in stock prior to the clean-up. Unfortunately due to an unrepairable puncture one of the trailer tyres had to be renewed.
5. FOOTPATHS/WALKS Suitably attired walkers with map in hand can still occasionally be seen on the 2RW, Stewart Edwards walked part of it recently from Meadow Road to Cooks Lane and back passing in front of the Craft Centre. Considering recent wet weather most of it was OK if suitable foot wear is worn, however the last gateway before Cooks Clyse has been churned up by cattle and is very muddy.
NSC have confirmed that they will be undertaking remedial works to Jacobs Walk. Their plan is to remove vegetation before or just after Christmas. Stone dusting will be undertaken in February or March 2020.
6. LEVELS AND FLOWS Higher than normal levels occurred following heavy rain on the 11th October, the situation was not helped by the accumulation of debris on the NSC trash screen, it had not been touched for months despite several reminders and request for it to be cleared. Photographs were taken on the 10th November and with others taken a month previously were forwarded to the EA on the 12th November. The screen was cleared by NSC the next day. There was a 24 hr period of heavy rain from the 13th to the 14th. Due to the high volume of water flowing, the level still rose by about 30cm (12”) despite most of it from upstream being diverted down the Yearling Ditch. On the 1st December Cooks Clyse was noted at 4.7m as it has now been set 10 cm (4”) lower to the winter level.
7. REPORTS OF RIVER SECTIONS
Tim’s section (The Yearling Ditch to Northern Way) The debris from the burnt out caravans has now been removed, burnt wooden fences have been renewed and security has been improved by the concreting in of large timber posts in the entrance to the site. A metal farm gate had been suggested to Highways England as posts had been tried before and had been cut down to gain entry. A kingfisher has been reported on several occasions in this area.
Stewart’s section (Northern Way to Tyres Direct) There is now a healthy population of eight moorhens in the Medical Centre section, this is more than usual but as they are often territorial several are expected to move away at the start of the breeding season.
As normally happens at this time of year, all the fish disappear but otherwise the water is clear with a reasonable flow. Following recent heavy rain there has been some slumping on parts of the working bank (south side).
Town section (Tyres Direct to the Curzon Cinema) Despite assurances from NSC on the 4th Sept that the crew would be going in shortly, the trash screen had still not been cleared by the 12th November, by which time there was a considerable build up in front of it. The EA contacted NSC and it was cleared the next day by NSC, (see also Levels & Flow above).
Trees and shrubs have been cleared from the wedge shaped parcel of river bank next to the new houses built on the former Staddons timber yard site. Parts of the stone retaining wall now exposed are in a very poor condition.
Curzon section (Curzon Cinema to Strode Road Bridge) The contractors at the Waverly House conversion will be contacted for an update with regard to the hoped for weed and silt removal from their section of the river.
Paul’s section (Strode Road Bridge to the outfall including Jacobs Walk) A request has been made to the EA for the 2 sections of river and bank missed during the weed clearing to be investigated. Nothing has happened so far, this will be followed up with a reminder. (see also river cleaning above).
8. WATER QUALITY. The EA online sample data site has changed format. GH is finding it difficult to get results directly out of the system. GH to forward results of phosphates in the Land Yeo around the LYF group when the issue is resolved.
9. PUBLICITY David Robinson has submitted an article relating to the recent clean-up to a variety of local press organisations.
10. WEBSITE The Two Rivers Walk is still influencing the number of hits on the site. Hit results were in July 1117, August 401, September 124, October 102 and November 60.
11. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
- GH to write to Surfers against Sewage to see if the public liability insurance they provide covers LYF removal of brush and weed from the river as well as normal clan-up of non-organics, plastics, metal etc.
- The Oak Room at The Curzon Cinema has been booked for
6th February 2020 ,2nd April 2020, 4th June 2020, 6th August 2020, AGM 3rd September 2020
Minutes of Meeting Held Thursday 1st August 2019
PRESENT Mike Adames, Tim Bessant, David Robinson, Stewart Edwards, Frances Harrison,
Geoff Harrison, Paul Trowbridge Cllr Richard Westwood.
APOLOGIES Cllr Judith West
- MINUTES Minutes 6th June 2019 accepted as read.
- FINANCE/GRANTS An application for a small grant of £150, has been submitted to
Clevedon Council. The current balance is £97.42.
- RIVER CLEANING Environment Agency contractors who manually clear river weed between Meadow Road and Strode Road started strimming the top of the working bank recently. This week they also started removing river weed by Meadow Road.
- EQUIPMENT Nothing to report.
- FOOTPATHS/WALKS LYF members, Barn Youth Club staff, children and family took part in an inaugural walk of the 2Rivers Walk on a lovely warm summers evening on 28th June 2019. Since the walk has been made public the LYF website has received a lot of interest. Several people have commented on the site and to the LYF how pleased they are with it and it is an asset to Clevedon. The only issue seems to be an electric stock fence across the route shortly after leaving Court Lane. This is across the Public Footpath, Councillor Richard Westwood will discuss this with the relevant authority.
Councillor Judith West has confirmed that the overgrown verge on Court Lane (which forms part of the public footpath on the route of the 2Rivers Walk) will be flayed to make it useable by North Somerset over the next six weeks.
It was noted that the deterioration of Jacobs Walk would be addressed at a subsequent meeting.
6. LEVELS AND FLOWS Vigorous weed growth especially between the M5 and the town centre has contributed to a restriction in flow and lower than normal water levels in the town, weed clearing by the Environment Agency is now underway.
The outfall was noted at 4.3 m on the 9th June and Cooks Clyse at 4.8 m on the 28th both being at their normal summer settings.
7. REPORTS OF RIVER SECTIONS
Tim’s section (The Yearling Ditch to Northern Way) A very compacted clump of weed is spreading and causing a restriction where the river flows out from the M5 culvert, as this section would be difficult to access with machines the Environment Agency have agreed for the work to be included in the schedule for the contractors who will clear it manually. The burnt out caravan adjacent to Court Lane has been reported to Highways England who have said the debris will be cleared from the site soon.
Stewart’s section (Northern Way to Tyres Direct) After a disappointing start to the nesting season when several broods of ducklings and moorhens disappeared soon after hatching, the waterfowl have recently been more successful, at present there are two ducklings almost fully grown and another five hopefully large enough to avoid predators. There are three juvenile moorhens and another brood of five which only recently hatched. Weed growth has been very strong in this section, however fish are plentiful where the river is clear and the Heron can often be seen in the morning.
Town section (Tyres Direct to the Curzon Cinema) In recent weeks the North Somerset Council trash screen has remained relatively clear of debris and does not appear to have restricted the flow. However that will soon change as the annual weed clearing gets under way, North Somerset Council will be made aware that some of the loose weed will accumulate on the screen. The two sycamore trees growing into the bank on the Conservative Club side were cut down by North Somerset Council in June.
Curzon section (Curzon Cinema to Strode Road Bridge) Japanese knot weed is still growing behind the Chinese restaurant and there is are large clumps of watercress behind the scout hut and cinema
Paul’s section (Strode Road Bridge to the outfall including Jacobs Walk) Swans had been seen nesting but do not appear to have been successful in raising any signets.
8. WATER QUALITY Following the LYF request to the Environment Agency for phosphate readings along the Land Yeo and from the water quality data supplied, Stewart did an internet search for information on orthophosphates in rivers: a link to a US web page has been forwarded to Avon Wildlife Trust for their opinion in relation to the UK. Avon Wildlife Trust are involved in a project led by Wessex Water to reduce phosphorus and other contaminants going into Tickenham, Nailsea and Kenn Moor (SSSI).
The Environment Agency data indicates that in general annualised average values of phosphate in the river have been slowly decreasing since 2000. Peak values can be seen each year, typically in October. These peak values far exceed the level at which eutrophication of the river is initiated. The peak values were reducing, but spiked again in 2014, 2015 and 2016. The figures in 2018 were much better, with no spike and all values throughout the year below the 0.1 mgP/l threshold figure. It will be interesting to see if there is a spike this autumn. The Bristol Avon Catchment Partnership continue in their work to reduce levels of nitrates and phosphates entering the river. Overall good progress is being made in reducing values, but there is further to go to bring values to an acceptable level.
9. PUBLICITY Articles have successfully been printed in the North Somerset Times, The Clevedon and Somerset Resident and Clevedon life. As a result of the recent publicity on the 2Rivers Walk, comments and photographs were posted on the Facebook site Hello Clevedon by someone who had completed the walk. As requests were being made for maps and information, a copy of David’s report to North Somerset Times has been posted with a link to our web site. Information on where hard copies of the map might be found was also included.
Following the publicity in the local press there was a substantial increase in the number of hits on the site (peak 190 in one day), which has continued at a lower but much increased level to normal.
The 2Rivers Walk pdf link has been added to the home page. Geoff to see if the interactive map on the website’s rivers page can be copied onto the home page.
11. ANY OTHER BUSINESS None
The AGM will be held at 7.30p.m Thursday 5th September 2019 in the Oak Room of the Curzon cinema.
Minutes of Meeting Held 6th June 2019
PRESENT Mike Adames, Tim Bessant, David Robinson, Stewart Edwards, Frances Harrison, Geoff Harrison, Cllr Judith West, Cllr Richard Westwood.
APOLOGIES Paul Trowbridge
- MINUTES 4th April 2019 Minutes accepted as read.
- FINANCE/GRANTS Funds held of £97.42. The cost the Two Rivers Walk leaflet has been funded by Avon Wildlife Trust. The cost of the way marking signs for the walk has been funded by Smisson Foundation Trust. Mike Adames to follow up a request from our banker HSBC for further information on the account holder. Funding to be sought for information boards to be placed around the route of the walk.
- RIVER CLEANING Tim and Stewart cleared the patch at and immediately upstream of the screens. Amongst the items removed were a builders radio, black wheelie bin and several bags of rubbish.
- EQUIPMENT No change
- FOOTPATHS/WALKS Way marking signs are being erected soon for the Two Rivers Walk, it is anticipated the inaugural walk will be held on 28th June at 17.00hrs from Queens Square.
The Barn Youth Club are hoping to participate by completing a sponsored walk in aid of The Barn.
It was agreed to address the issue of the degradation of Jacobs Walk footpath at a subsequent meeting. Local authorities are not willing to pick up the cost of maintenance.
- LEVELS AND FLOWS Flowing OK with the weir set at summer levels by the EA.
- REPORTS OF RIVER SECTIONS
Tim’s section (The Yearling Ditch to Northern Way) Not much change. The caravan adjacent to the river at Court Lane has been burnt out. Stewart Edwards will inform Highways England of this.
Stewart’s section (Northern Way to Tyres Direct) Lots of watercress has developed behind what used to be Leslie Darks. Stewart will inform the Environment Agency.
Town section (Tyres Direct to the Curzon Cinema)
The screen has been cleared. The two trees growing on top of the river wall adjacent to the Conservative Club have been assessed by North Somerset Structures team and they are going to cut them down and then eco plug them to stop re-growth. The roots are imbedded into the wall so these will not be removed. The Structures team will continue to monitor the situation going forward.
Curzon section (Curzon Cinema to Strode Road Bridge) The Swans have been nesting in this section.
Paul’s section (Strode Road Bridge to the outfall including Jacobs Walk) The section of the river west from Strode Road Bridge is ok with little rubbish visible although the banks are quite overgrown in places. Two swans were seen on Friday last week.
8. WATER QUALITY Geoff to request information from the Environment Agency about the Phosphate levels in the river.
9. PUBLICITY David is going to write to North Somerset Times, Mendip Times and Clevedon Living, to ask if they will publish an article about the Two Rivers Walk.
10. WEBSITE Continues to get hits, a recent one was from a wildlife ranger asking if he could give a talk to the group. It was agreed we would like to hear his talk and Geoff will contact him to agree a date.
11. ANY OTHER BUSINESS Cllr West informed us of a new 90 litre refuse bin to be installed by North Somerset Council on the Middle Way.
The Oak Room at The Curzon Cinema has been booked for
1st August 2019, AGM 5th September 2019.
Minutes of Meeting Held 5th April 2019
PRESENT Paul Trowbridge Tim Bessant Graham Watkins Mike Adames Geoff Harrison
APOLOGIES Stewart Edwards David Robinson
- MINUTES Minutes accepted as read.
- FINANCE/GRANTS The fee for the website of £15 has been paid. On 23rd of March Geoff Harrison made the Land Yeo Friends presentation at a Town Council meeting on how the grant from the Clevedon Town Council small grant had been used. It went well. There was particular appreciation for thanking Clevedon Town Council for allowing the grant to be used towards revenue costs such as insurance; this being a life saver for The Land Yeo Friends. As most charitable funders will only support grants for capital expenditure, actual stuff. Their rules often specifically exclude funding running costs. Geoff described very briefly The Land Yeo Friends history, the change in the river over fifteen years and what is done now to maintain and improve it. The expenditure was given as power washer, insurance of boat and trailer and for the annual cost of the web site. It was mentioned a little amount of the funding was left from the grant which may be spent on cut-proof gloves and if there was any money left the group would like to spend it on The Two Rivers Walk. A brief outline of the route of the walk and where the new permissive footpaths are was given. No questions were received as a result of the presentation.
- RIVER CLEANING – Last week Tim and Stewart filled a large bag with rubbish, including cans, bottles and plastic that had found its way into the river next to the Conservative Club. A build-up of sticks, twigs and leaves were also found extending for several metres in front of the trash screen, most of which was moved to the side to clear the centre of the channel. Other items of rubbish were noted further upstream and were moved to the bank, another clean-up will be organised soon for their removal which will probably require the trailer.
- EQUIPMENT-No change
- FOOTPATHS/WALKS Thanks to David, a map/leaflet for The Two Rivers Walk has now been produced and will hopefully be approved (including name of walk). Quotes for printing have been obtained and are approx. £80 for 250, creased and folded from Pace Print, £70 for 250 unfolded (£82 folded) or for 500 £98 (£134 folded ) from That Copy Shop. A further quote was obtained from a Portishead printer but was higher than either of the Clevedon printers.
Potential “opening” date for the walk was suggested as the 21st June 2019.
Mike and Stewart met Tim Curley from Avon Wildlife Trust on the 21st of March and they walked the first part of Two Rivers Walk. Tim Curley was impressed with what had been achieved and offered to help Land Yeo Friends by paying for the map/leaflet printing, in addition he offered to arrange for volunteers to help with clean ups if required. Tim Curley also explained that they were actively seeking ways to reduce phosphates in the water courses and understood some of the problems we were experiencing. In addition he would like to explore the possibility of improving wild life habitat where possible along the route of The Two Rivers Walk on the river banks.
Tim is going to discuss possible design for direction signage (based on the draft by the Barn Youth Club) for The Two Rivers Walk with a graphic designer. Mike is going to check with North Somerset that it is permissible to fix direction stickers to lampposts around the route within the town and any restrictions that they may have.
Some clearing work on the grass verges has been carried out by North Somerset leading up to the M5 bridge but not on the other side going towards the Zig Zag footpath. We understand North Somerset Council intend finishing the work with a flail in April as the vegetation remaining on the verges is making them difficult to walk on.
6 LEVELS AND FLOWS – Since the last meeting there has only been slight fluctuation above normal following periods of wet weather, (Cooks Clyse was recently noted at the winter level of 4.7m). However the Environment Agency recently carried out a controlled flushing operation by raising the level of the weir at the outfall, the water level then gradually increased until it was about a foot above normal, the weir was then lowered to release it. This was achieved by allowing fresh water to build up and was not caused by water entering the river from the estuary. An increase in level of 10 cm last week end was an indication Cooks Clyse had been raised to the summer level of 4.8m.
7 REPORTS OF RIVER SECTIONS
Tim’s section (The Yearling Ditch to Northern Way) On investigation no sign of the reported a push bike was found upstream of Northern Way, perhaps someone else pulled it out. On the 23rd of February a large shoal of fish, probably Rudd was spotted by Northern Way foot bridge, this was unusual and could have been due to mild weather for the time of year, shoals of fish don’t normally appear until later in March.
Stewart’s section (Northern Way to Tyres Direct) To prevent the spread of seed, enough Oilseed rape plants to fill a green bag were removed from the working bank between the two foot bridges.
Shoals of fish have also returned here recently, three Pike swimming side by side with the largest in the centre (about 60cm long) were also spotted, presumably engaging in some kind of courting ritual!
Town section (Tyres Direct to the Curzon Cinema) – Tim and Stewart recently recovered rubbish from in front of trash screen and intend carrying out another clean up soon going upstream towards Parnell Road. A compacted layer of sticks, twigs, leaves and silt was also found in front of and on the trash screen, there is some doubt as to how much of the promised monthly maintenance has actually been carried out, details of the build-up on the screen and in front of it have been emailed to North Somerset Council. A reply has since been received from
Adam Wood North Somerset Council, which does not really clarify the situation and Stewart will have further talks and clarification with Adam when Stewart returns from holiday
Curzon section (Curzon Cinema to Strode Road Bridge) There is a Lidl supermarket trolley in the river behind the Curzon/Teatro, Stewart reported it to the manager and was told arrangements had already been made for contractors to remove it.
Paul’s section (Strode Road Bridge to the outfall including Jacobs Walk). As a result of the storms at the beginning of March some debris was blown into the river between Southern Way and Marshalls Field, they could not be found during a visit last week and may have moved towards the outfall following the recent flushing carried out by the Environment Agency (See Levels and Flow).
8 WATER QUALITY-Following recent sunny weather brown algae is floating up and accumulating on the surface, this usually occurs at this time of year and Avon Wildlife Trust confirmed it can be caused by high levels of Phosphates in the river.
9 PUBLICITY Discussion centred on leaflets and signage for The Two rivers Walk and how funding could be obtained for them. It was suggested a small grant application could be made to Clevedon Town Council.
10 WEBSITE –Still has hits. Renewal for this year’s license (£15) has been paid.
11 ANY OTHER BUSINESSGraham Watkins announced that he will not be standing in the forthcoming town council elections and will therefore be retiring as the Land Yeo Friends council representative. All present thanked him for his unstinting support of the group over the past few years.
- Geoff H to contact North Somerset in relation to the two Sycamore trees growing out of the river wall adjacent to the Conservative Club.
- The Oak Room at The Curzon Cinema has been booked for
6th June 2019,1st August 2019, AGM 5th September 2019.
Minutes of Meeting Held 7th February 2019 in the Oak Room Curzon Cinema
PRESENT Stewart Edwards, Paul Trowbridge, Mike Adames Geoff Harrison, Tim Bessant,
Frances Harrison, Councillor Graham Watkins, Councillor Jane Geldart
APOLOGIES David Robinson
- MINUTES 6th December 2018 Minutes accepted as read, with minor typos. It was also noted
Neville Youde had helped clear watercress from Tim Bessant’s section.
- FINANCE/GRANTS Funds held of £96.86
- RIVER CLEANING No clean ups organised since the 27th October 2018, however several super market trolleys including three from B&M have been pulled out, see relevant river sections below.
- EQUIPMENT No more gloves received as yet from Environment Agency
- FOOTPATHS/WALKS – It was agreed we should set a target date for opening of the Two Rivers Walk at the end of May 2019, on a no frills basis. Any information signs to be purchased at a later date, design and funds permitting. Mike Adames will keep the group up to date on any quotes or information for possible signage. It was noted that North Somerset have installed additional gates so that there are now no stiles along the route.
Tim Bessant, Mike Adames and Stewart Edwards met with Karen Pyke at The Barn on
21st January 2019, to discuss opportunities for the Barn’s youth club involvement Tim Bessant agreed to be the coordinator between Land Yeo Friends and The Barn.
A draft A4 size map showing the walk was presented at the meeting for consideration. It was agreed Tim Bessant, Stewart Edwards and David Robinson, would meet to discuss this further.
North Somerset Council have said that they will cut the overgrown grass verge in Court Lane both on the Clevedon side leading up to the bridge and the other side heading away from the bridge to the path. It is for now scheduled twice yearly from next year. However the flailing machine employed cannot be used before April. Some manual clearance will be undertaken in the winter so that the verges are able to be walked on before then. Graham Watkins will inform North Somerset Council of the proposed opening date of the opening of the walk.
6 LEVELS AND FLOWS – For two months prior to the North Somerset trash screen being cleared on the 15th January 2019, the level upstream from the Triangle was higher than normal and there was virtually no flow through the town. Following removal of the debris the water level in front of the screen dropped by 35cm (14”) and the upstream levels returned to normal. The flow also improved, although somewhat less than normal due to the relatively dry weather since Christmas.
7 REPORTS OF RIVER SECTIONS
Tim’s section (The Yearling Ditch to Northern Way)
A Lidl super market trolley was recovered by Northern Way footbridge and taken back to Lidl by Tim Bessant and Stewart Edwards on the 23rd January 2019, apparently there is also a push bike in the river a bit further upstream. This is to be investigated.
Stewart’s section (Northern Way to Tyres Direct)
River and water reasonably clear, small items of rubbish are being recovered occasionally.
Reed warblers making regular visits to bird feeders on Stewart’s river bank on Meadow Road.
Town section (Tyres Direct to the Curzon Cinema)
The trash screen was finally cleared by North Somerset Council on the 15th January 2019. The Environment Agency confirmed they do not like obstructive structures in main rivers. It is a condition of the licence granted by the Environment Agency to North Somerset Council, who installed the screen that regular maintenance is carried out.
North Somerset Council have said that it will be checked fortnightly and cleared monthly going forward.
B&M supermarket trollies have been thrown in beside the Conservative Club on three occasions recently, the last one was recovered by North Somerset Council when clearing the screen. B&M are aware that their trolleys are being thrown into the river more frequently of late. The assistant manager confirmed they moved the other two. Thank you to B&M who reacted quickly.
The two Sycamore trees growing on the bank beside the Conservative Club are now quite large and although nice to see, their root structure could be damaging the retaining wall, which has had to be repaired in the past.
Curzon section (Curzon Cinema to Strode Road Bridge)
No update so far from Environment Agency enforcement officer re Japanese knotweed at the rear of Chinese take away.
Clevedon Town councillors at the meeting confirmed the council’s objection to any housing
development on South Clevedon playing fields (Penny fields).
Paul’s section (Strode Road Bridge to the outfall including Jacobs Walk)
The Tesco trolley in the river half way between Strode Rd and Heron Bridge has been recovered and was returned to the store by Tim Bessant and Stewart Edwards on the
25th January 2019. Jacob’s Walk needs resurfacing. Councillor Geldart took an action to approach North Somerset on this topic.
7 WATER QUALITY
Recently issued Rivers Trust annual report showing a classification of “poor” continues to be largely due to phosphates.
The Barn youth club offered assistance with publicity to launch The Two Rivers Walk. Stewart and Tim agreed to meet David to discuss brochures. It was decided to carry on with paper based approach. Councillor Geldart did mention the possibility of an app based approach in conjunction with that being developed by Clevedon BID. It was decided to continue under the Land Yeo Friends logo with a paper based approach.
Continues to receive hits. Thanks to our sponsors have been added.
10 ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Litter bins were discussed. In particular the one removed a long time ago outside the Conservative Club and the Land Yeo Friends’ proposal for a bin at the bridge from Strode Road to Penny Fields. Graham was reminded that Clevedon Town Council had said at a meeting (3rd January 2018) that they would fund cost of the bin at Strode Road if North Somerset Council would add it to their collection round.
- The Oak Room at The Curzon Cinema has been booked for
4Th April 2019, 6th June 2019,1st August 2019, AGM 5th September 2019.
Minutes of meeting held 6th December 2018
PRESENT Stewart Edwards, David Robinson, Tim Bessant, Mike Adames, Graham Watkins,
APOLOGIES Frances Harrison, Geoff Harrison
- MINUTES Minutes accepted as read.
- FINANCE/GRANTS Insurance has been renewed for the Punt and Trailer, same premium as last year £51.64. A cheque for £120 from the Monmouthshire Building Society, grant for buoyancy aids, had been paid in to the bank (see item 4 below).
- RIVER CLEANING Prior to the very successful clean up on the 27th October 2018. The river was checked where possible between the Scout Hut and South Clevedon playing field from the bank, it was virtually clear of any debris. Therefore the river clean with the boat took place from the playing field through to Southern Way Bridge and the main work party covered the bank through to Marshalls Field. Items recovered included a traffic cone base, electronic till, baby carrier, two car tyres, a child’s scooter and six large bags of assorted items. The rubbish included mostly plastic bottles, cans and glass bottles. It was pleasing to find however that compared to previous years there was a reduction in the amount of rubbish recovered. This year we greatly appreciated the help given by Surfers Against Sewage who provided us with insurance cover and some equipment. Thanks are due to all who helped in the work parties, on the bank, in the boat and to Geoff and Frances who compiled the necessary risk assessment for the insurance cover, helped with the safety briefing and posted notices in advance of the clean-up. General discussion about the benefit of SAS insurance and the need of risk assessment.
- EQUIPMENT Three new Palm Buoyancy Aids (adjustable to all sizes) have been purchased from the Canoe and Kayak store with the grant of £120 from Monmouthshire Building Society, the aids have been collected and are now stored with the boat at Meadow Road.
- FOOTPATHS/WALKS Update on the Two Rivers walk. Mike Adames confirmed gates and posts are in place and the broken gate by the motorway is to be fixed. The farmer (Mr Dodds) is to replace a gate near the motorway. Court Lane overgrown access to the path is still to be settled. Position of an electric fence in this area is to be improved. Graham Watkins has not as yet received a response from
North Somerset Council regarding the clearing of the hedge/fence/grass verge on Court Lane. Stewart Edwards said this should be resolved by the NS Highways Dept. Michael Adames wondered if we should attend to this work ourselves. David Robinson advised the authorities would not want this sort of work done by volunteers for health and safety reasons. They also have all the proper equipment and it is their responsibility. Stewart Edwards and Tim Bessant will take a look at the amount of work involved. Stewart Edwards explained that the original footpaths are still shown on maps. Signage for the path was then discussed along with website content. It was agreed to proceed with design for signage with our own contacts and with the involvement of The Barn. Concern was expressed about the crossing of Northern Way to gain access to the path and the safety aspect of crossing via the central refuge or the underpass.
On the 17th November 2018 Stewart Edwards and Tim Bessant completed a two hour circular walk upstream from Tickenham Church to view the raised embanked Land Yeo channel on the hill side, the Moorend Spout, Parish Brook, the Boundary Rhyne and back over the causeway returning via the Land Yeo and Tickenham Mill site.
6. LEVELS AND FLOWS
- Following recent rain, debris building up on the North Somerset trash screen and the lowering of Cooks Clyse weir to the winter level, there have been several fluctuations to the level and flow since the last meeting. The 30cm plus build up on the trash screen was last cleared on
29th October 2018 and resulted in a noticeable drop in level at the screen and increased flow upstream by Meadow Road. However following further heavy rain and more debris washing onto the trash screen, the level increased and flow reduced even prior to Cooks Clyse weir being lowered on the on 9/10th November 2018, (the level at Cooks Clyse was noted at approx. 4.7m on the 12th November 2018). There is still a build-up of debris on the screen and with further heavy rain last Monday the level at the screen by the Conservative Club was 4.7m (which is the same as the controlled winter level at Cooks Clyse); for the last three weeks the resultant flow through the town has been minimal.
7. REPORTS OF RIVER SECTIONS
Tim’s section (The Yearling Ditch to Northern Way) At the end of October Stewart Edwards cleared a large clump of watercress that had accumulated in the entrance to the culvert under Northern Way.
Stewart’s section (Northern Way to Tyres Direct) The river is now reasonably clear and very little in the way of weed growth following clearing, shorter days and the onset of winter, a push chair has been recovered near Medical Centre bridge.
Town section (Tyres Direct to the Curzon Cinema) During October there was a large build up on the trash screen. After weed removal by the Environment Agency, on the 29th October 2018 and following further heavy rain, another build up occurred and North Somerset Council were made aware of this on the 8th November 2018,it was confirmed an order had been raised for it to be cleared. However by the 29th November 2018 it had not been touched and another text was sent to their representative who confirmed he would chase it.
A push bike had been dumped in the river by the Conservative Club and has now been removed.
The two Sycamore trees growing on the bank beside the Conservative Club are now quite large and although nice to see, their root structure could be damaging the retaining wall which has had to be repaired in the past.
Curzon section (Curzon Cinema to Strode Road Bridge) A report of Japanese Knot weed growing from the bank at the back of the Chinese restaurant has been forwarded to the
Environment Agency enforcement officer who will be taking appropriate action.
The Buddleia branches by Strode Road Bridge were recovered during the LYF clean-up, unfortunately some of them were thrown back in, another visit has been made and they have been removed again and taken away.
A week after litter had been cleared from South Clevedon playing field during the clean-up, another collection of plastic bottles, cans and a glass bottle occurred near the footbridge, this was gathered up and taken away before any of it could find its way into the river.
Graham Watkins will make enquiries to see if there has been any progress with our request for a litter bin to be installed near the footbridge.
Paul’s section (Strode Road Bridge to the outfall including Jacobs Walk) Successfully cleared during the clean-up, the boat was recovered by Southern Way bridge as there was very little rubbish in the river between there and the outfall.
8. WATER QUALITY Nothing to report
9. PUBLICITY – David Robinson has gained a new contact at the North Somerset Times who is interested in LYF news and has published his recent report on the clean-up.
David Robertson pointed out the publicity opportunities arising from recent donations.
Following our appeal directed at younger people published in Clevedon Living, an offer of help has been received from the Barn Youth Club with potential for liaison possibly in relation to the Two Rivers Walk. Also possibly promoting the walk’s opening with a sponsored walk. A meeting with the Barn is anticipated in due course.
10.WEBSITE Continues to attract interest at a low level. Geoff Harrison will be adding thanks to our various recent donators on the website homepage. Monmouthshire Building Society (buoyancy aids). Clevedon Town Council (small grants allocation). Environment Agency (equipment). A private donation. North Somerset Council (paths, erection of gates and styles). Surfers Against Sewage (public liability insurance and equipment).
11. ANY OTHER BUSINESS Feedback from Mike Adames with regard to damage caused to Land Yeo embankment by Badgers near Brook Farm, Backwell Bow, it is possible view any time by using public footpaths, beware of 25 to 30 holes in the embankment. A general discussion about this issue followed.
Graham Watkins asked how the grant from Clevedon Town Council was spent (LYF responded: insurance, possible cost of signage for the walk, replacement pressure washer) so that he was able to report back to Clevedon Town Council meeting.
Stewart Edwards and Tim Bessant reported they had spoken to someone in the Cooks Lane area who said otters had been seen on the river.
12. The Oak Room at The Curzon Cinema has been booked for the following meetings 7th February 2019, 4Th April 2019, 6th June 2019,1st August 2019, AGM 5th September 2019.
Minutes of Meeting Held on 2nd August 2018
PRESENT Geoff Harrison (Chair), Stewart Edwards, Frances Harrison, Graham Watkins,
APOLOGIES Liz Leaming, Mike Adames, Paul Trowbridge
5th April 2018 Minutes accepted as read.
Funds held of £24.06. An application has been sent to Clevedon Town Council under the small grant schemes. Town Clerk, Paula Heath, has acknowledged receipt of the application. The meeting attendees agreed an application for a grant should also be made to the Monmouthshire Charitable Trust.
We have secured public liability insurance for physical work, on and about the river, free through Surfers against Sewage. SAS were very supportive of our work.
3 RIVER CLEANING
Some grass on the bank has been strimmed through the town by EA contractors, manual weed clearing from the river has also started this week near Meadow Road, slow progress so far as they are new contractors and are unfamiliar with working on the Land Yeo.
The pressure washer has developed a leak, it will be checked to see if a repair is possible and if parts can be obtained. The EA have supplied a new pair of size 10 chest waders to replace the originals that have developed a leak. The EA have turned down our request for personnel buoyancy aids. An attempt will be made to source them through a grant. If this is not possible we shall be unable to use the boat. If any members have any ideas please let us know.
In respect of the Two Rivers Walk, Roger Baker of Triangle Farm and the EA have been contacted regarding a date the contractor can start installation of the gates. The contractor has the gates in his possession. Andy Carroll of North Somerset Council has not been contactable as yet, the contractor awaits his instructions.
6 LEVELS AND FLOWS
Following the unusually prolonged dry spell, river levels and flow are low at the moment, after some rain at the weekend Cooks Clyse was checked on Sunday afternoon and found to be just below 4.8m with no water passing over the weir. As usually happens at this time of year the level is low near Meadow Road and is expected to improve when the annual machine weed clearing is completed by the EA. The level at the Outfall was noted at its usual level of 4.3m on the 15th July.
7 RIVER SECTION
Bernard’s section The EA are aware of the caravan near the river between M5 and Court Lane and have reported it to Highways England, we have been informed by HE they are working towards the eviction of the caravan from the site. Another request has been made for the watercress to be sprayed near
Court Lane, as it is now spanning the river.
Stewart’s section – – North Somerset Council have replaced the litter bins by the Medical Centre and Meadow Road footbridges, there has been no response to the request to NSC for two more bins near the river, please see below.
The smaller fish in the river, Roach/Rudd, have continued to thrive, although during the very hot weather they have appeared to struggle a little with low oxygen levels in the evening.
Seven of this year’s brood of duck lings are now fully grown and from a late brood of moorhens chicks two have managed to survive.
Town section – – Unfortunately there has been no reply from NSC to a request for the litter bin to be replaced by the river near the Conservative Club. The NSC trash screen was cleared sometime in June, there is a slight build up there at the moment, however that will soon change when the EA weed clearing gets under way and more frequent cleaning will be required.
Liz’s section – CTC supported our request for a litter bin near the footbridge from Strode Road over the river and into the playing field, they advised we should apply to them for a grant to cover the cost of its installation, unfortunately there has been no response from NSC to a request for it to be included in their rounds for emptying. Graham Watkins agreed to pursue this.
Paul’s section — Two signets have hatched from a clutch of five eggs, when last seen they were about duck size and doing well. Although the river appears attractive and pastoral the banks for most of the length are quite overgrown. Most of the water is clear but weed growth is present around Strode Road bridge and in patches with yellow flowers in two places and reeds in various locations. A few ducks were the only wildlife spotted. The most significant thing to note is the smart new railings on, and to the side of, the little bridge into Pill Way, all painted in green
8 WATER QUALITY –Nothing to report.
9 PUBLICTY—All of the flyers have been taken from the display at the Pier. DR was requested to circulate local press to advertise the forthcoming AGM and also to:note new members are needed to support committee, administration and clearance operations.
A website primarily about North Somerset nature was discovered that contained wording that caused concern to the LYF. The LYF were concerned that the content may impact donations or deter new volunteers. The website stated that the LYF had been undertaking planting work on the river bank and leaving organic arisings without seeking consultation or permission. The LYF has not been undertaking such work. We have made contact with the site. POST MEETING NOTE: The website have amended the wording relating to the Land Yeo Friends to a less accusatory tone.
10 WEBSITE Continues to attract a low level of hits and positive comments.
11 ANY OTHER BUSINESS: Unfortunately due to family commitments Liz Leaming is no longer able to be actively involved with the committee.
Sept 6th 2018; The AGM is being held in the Oak Room at the Curzon. All welcome, please try to attend.
Minutes of Meeting Held on 5th April 2018
PRESENT Geoff Harrison (Chair), Stewart Edwards, Frances Harrison, Graham Watkins,
Mike Adames, David Robinson, Liz Leaming
APOLOGIES Paul Trowbridge
February 2018 Minutes accepted as read
Funds held of £39.06. A cheque £15 of this money was issued at the meeting to cover the costs of the web site HSBC have issued a letter to Mike Adames advising the bank account held by
Land Yeo Friends will be transferred to a commercial account in July 2018.
An application has been made to the Bristol Avon catchment partnership for a one or two year much needed grant to cover insurances and the web site costs.
Next year it may be possible to apply for funding from the Clevedon Lions annual Dream Scheme, awards are made to local voluntary groups, applications can be submitted in January.
A donation of £20 was gratefully received from Pam Soper to help with overheads, cheque forwarded to Mike Adames.
3 RIVER CLEANING
No rubbish clearing since last meeting except trash screens, please see item 7 Town section.
Nothing to report.
It was suggested half of Two Rivers walk could be organised for some time in April, i.e. part Land Yeo, Yearling Ditch and part Blind Yeo. Mike Adames advised it would be best to wait until the walk is confirmed. Mike Adames had covered part of the walk and discovered a kissing gate had been erected near the Craft Centre. It was unclear whether this was the gate designated for the walk, as it was not in the agreed location. Mike was going to investigate .
6 LEVELS AND FLOWS
During the last 2 months levels and flow have been mostly around normal for this time of year. There was an increase for a while when the snow melted which caused a build-up of debris on the trash screens.
Fortunately both screens were cleared before the periods of heavy rain over Easter, as a result levels were higher for a couple of days and there was a good flow. Due to the wet weather and higher levels the adjustment of Cooks Clyse to the summer level of 4.8 m may have been delayed, this normally occurs at the beginning of April.
7 RIVER SECTION
Bernard’s section – During the second week of March it was noticed a caravan had been set up on Highways England Land between the M5 and Court Lane. To gain access a fence and post had been removed and as there had been problems in the past with unauthorised camps on this land,
Highways England have been notified and will be sending someone to investigate.
Stewart’s section – Along with our neighbours we were all extremely disappointed to discover that
North Somerset Council(NSC) have removed the litter bins by the Meadow Road and Medical Centre footbridges, unfortunately from past experience this will lead to an increase of litter ending up in the river. There have been indications that the fish have returned although they have been difficult to spot as the water is discoloured following recent rain, a kingfisher has also been seen this week. There has also been an unusual visitor recently, a Reed Bunting has been regularly coming to our feeders near the river bank. Graham Watkins advised Clevedon Town Council are going to approach NSC for an explanation. On the matter of the litter bins.
Town section – After the snow melted a build-up of debris occurred on both trash screens, Curo group and NSC were both contacted on the 12th March, the Old Dairy Court screen was soon cleared, NSC cleared most of their screen the week before Easter. Unfortunately following the heavy rain over Easter and a higher than normal flow rates more debris has accumulated on the NSC screen, at the moment it does not appear to be restricting the flow, a text will be sent to NSC when is does. Arrangements to be made with J Shopland for timber to be removed from culvert under Shoplands Yard.
Liz’s section – No further information about who now owns the small parcel of land on the opposite bank to Teatro Lounge. Liz was satisfied with the condition of her section of the river.
As a result of NSC recent attempts to cut costs two litter bins have been removed near foot bridges over the river, (please see above), in view of this it appears extremely unlikely we will be successful with our request to have one installed near Strode Road
Paul’s section – There is bramble undergrowth on the banks apart from that all is fine. The swans have been observed making this year’s nest next to the footbridge to Marshalls Field from St Andrews Drive.
9 WATER QUALITY Nothing to report
10 PUBLICTY the website continues to get hits. Stewart Edwards has emailed letter to North Somerset Times re rubbish and litter bins.
10 WEBSITE Continues to attract hits most days.11 ANY OTHER BUSINESS:
It was agreed an email would be sent to all Supporters asking them to confirm they wish to receive minutes and information from the LYF. This confirmation is required due to changes in the Data Protection rules coming into force later this year. It was also confirmed that anyone who fails to reply will automatically be taken off the Supporters register held by the LYF. The following email was sent:
Subject: PLEASE READ IMPORTANT E MAIL RE YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION HELD BY THE LAND YEO FRIENDS. THIS IS A REQUEST DUE TO CHANGES THE DATA PROTECTION RULES
You currently receive the minutes of the bimonthly Land Yeo Friends meetings via e-mail. To send these minutes and other information your e-mail address is held by the secretary of the group. Due to the new Data Protection rules coming into force later this year your written confirmation is required to continue doing this. Can you please confirm to me that you are happy for me to continue using and holding your e-mail address in future. Land Yeo Friends will not share your e-mail address with any other groups or individuals. Please return your acceptance via e-mail to this address.
If you wish to use a different e-mail address from the one we hold on file please take this opportunity to let me know.
If no response is made by 1st May 2018, your details will be removed from the address list.
I sent a similar e-mail to this one at the end of last year, unfortunately there was little response. Thank you to those of you who did respond and I am sorry to ask again however this is a new regulation.
Regards Frances Harrison
Secretary to Land Yeo Friends
- Geoff Harrison has obtained a quote for public indemnity insurance on the open market. The cost is about £100 for the year. The Environment Agency and NSC have been approached and are not able to extend their cover to the LYF. NSC are not unable to help as they do with other voluntary groups as most of the land involved is not NSC property. Clevedon Town Council have also been approached. (Post meeting Note: It was confirmed the next day that Clevedon Town Council are unable to help).
- SE has contacted CSC, thanked them for past use of the Club for our meetings and cancelled dates booked for the rest of this year, we are welcome to return in the future if we so wish.
- Curzon Cinema, The Oak Room has been booked for meetings on the following dates,
June 7th 2018, August 2nd 2018, September 6th 2018 AGM. Meetings start at 19.30.
Minutes of Meeting Held on 7th December 2017
PRESENT – Liz Leaming. Stewart Edwards. Graham Watkins. David Robinson. Paul Trowbridge. Neville Youde
APOLOGIES Frances Harrison Geoff Harrison Mike Adames
- MINUTES Approved
- FINANCE/GRANTS – £51.64 paid by credit card to Noble Marine for the renewal of boat and trailer insurance by SE
- RIVER CLEANING – During October the EA machine and manual weed clearing was completed through the town and down to Marshalls field, a much improved standard has been achieved this year in the removal of river weed and brambles shrubs etc encroaching on the river from the bank.Following completion of EA operations a LYF work party was organised for the 18th November to recover as much rubbish as possible from the river and banks. The boat was used from the Scout Hut to Strode Road where much of the river is inaccessible from the bank. Rubbish was also collected by two groups from the banks in South Clevedon Playing Field and from Strode Road to Marshalls field. Approximately 10 large bag were filled with bottles, cans etc, of which about 70% consisted of plastic items, four traffic cones, three small scooters, a wood garden seat and a small trampoline were also removed. Everything was taken to the Amenity Site and all the equipment cleaned, many thanks to everyone who helped during the morning and afternoon with this very successful clean up. Following the visit to the Amenity site the boat and trailer was cleaned by Neville and Stewart. It was stated that there appeared to be more plastic items in the river that on previous clean ups. PT suggested that a record should be kept of the number of people and the number hours spent on each clean up day
- EQUIPMENT 12 months premium paid to Noble Marine for boat and trailer insurance.
- FOOTPATHS/WALKS GW spoke about the Neighbourhood Plan and said that the LYF group and the footpath plans had been noted in the Open Spaces aspect of the Plan. SW produced a printed map of the footpaths in the Clevedon area to which the 2 – Rivers Walk could be added.
- LEVELS AND FLOWS During the last 2 months water levels in the town have been higher than usual upstream of the NSC trash screen, this has been due to a build up of weed and leaves on the screen that NSC have been unable to remove (please see item 7 below). During this period there was still a reasonable flow, however levels and flow have now both decreased following the adjustment of Cooks Clyse to its winter setting of 4.7m at the end of November.
- RIVER SECTIONS
Bernard’s section – As noted on Tuesday 5th December, the tent and rubbish gathered into a heap on HA land near Court Lane have now been removed and the damaged fence by the road has been repaired.
Stewart’s section – Following a very thorough cutting back of the brambles by the EA contractors recently on the Medical Centre side, most of the material removed was transferred to the bank on the opposite side which the riparian owners try to maintain. On the 8th Nov a full trailer load was gathered up by SE with the help of two of his neighbours and taken to the Amenity Site.
A Lidl trolley was found on the bank by the Medical Centre bridge on 2nd November, their call centre was informed and SE was advised it would be collected within 4 hours, it wasn’t, and by the following morning it had been pushed into the river, they were contacted again and advised it would be uplifted by contractors the following week, which it was on the 10th, apparently Lidl’s manager could not send any of his staff to collect it as they would not be insured if they left their carpark, as it ended up in the river it probably went for scrap.
Town section – NSC have now been contacted several times regarding the build up of weed and leaves on the trash screen by the Conservative Club, this has been restricting the flow and created a difference in water level of up to 8 inches. The officer we had previously contacted has now retired and did not return to work after being taken ill, his replacement has been contacted and on the 16th November advised by text he was trying to agree risk assessment with their contractor and hoped to be in touch soon. SE has spoken to him again this week and was advised that contractors have now been instructed to clear the screen. Having explained our concern that in the event of a torrential downpour, a 6 month build-up of debris in front of the screen would increase the risk of flooding from surface water run off, SE was advised the clearing work would be given a higher priority. Hopefully the work will be carried out soon. SE added that the work has been contracted to Glendale. GW added that he would bring the matter to the attention of North Somerset Council if the work is not done. A discussion took place regarding the need for regular cleaning of the screen.
A group member recently came across a culvert survey being carried out from the last access chamber in the B&M carpark, under Great Western Road and out of the end behind Teatro and the Cinema. The EA have confirmed this was a routine inspection being carried out by their contractors.
Liz’s section – River checked from Scout Hut to South Clevedon Playing Field whilst collecting rubbish with the boat on the 18th November.
Some activity has been recently noted in the small triangular parcel of land that had been advertised for sale adjoining Lidl carpark and on the opposite bank from Teatro Lounge, the plot has been cleared and a sold sign has now been put up, the manageress of Teatro Lounge confirmed they were not the new owners. Can GW throw any light on it? Members agreed that it is not known who now owns this piece of land but it is understood that the land sold at auction for £28,000. SE said there was still a need for a litter bin at South Clevedon Playing Field and alongside the Conservative Club. GW said that the Town Council were aware of this need but pointed out that NSC would be required to pay for the cleaning of the bins. SW and GH (Chairman LYF) will be attending a Clevedon Town Council meeting.
Paul’s section – The EA confirmed they had cleared the bushes and brambles around Heron Bridge in preparation for the river weed removal that was completed from Strode Road to Marshalls Field in October.
Rubbish left on river bank removed by LYF on 18th November (see item 3)
8.WATER QUALITY Copies of report from Wessex Water Magazine regarding removal of phosphorus from waste water and how it can lead to eutrophication in water courses when levels become too high.
9.PUBLICTY DR has been in touch with the North Somerset Times but was disappointed with the amount of coverage in the paper.WEBSITE GH reported that there continues to be a number of hits on the website together with favourable comments.
10. ANY OTHER BUSINESS We may need to share CSC with another group at the next meeting, we will be able to hold our meeting at the far end of the club. SE has visited Teatro and spoken to the manager about the strip of land opposite their premises and during conversation an offer was made for 10 LYF members to receive complementary lunch at Teatro. This was gratefully accepted and a date agreed for Monday 18th December.
Activity next to Lidl meeting requested GW to establish any information that Clevedon Town Council may have.
Highways agency have raised work order to remove rubbish from their land M5.
11. CSC has been booked for meetings on the following dates, Feb 1st 2018, Apr 5th 2018, June 7th 2018, Aug 2nd 2018, Sept 6th 2018 AGM
Minutes of Meeting Held on 5th October 2017
PRESENT Geoff Harrison (Chair), Stewart Edwards, Frances Harrison, Graham Watkins, Mike Adames, Chris Hammond (Avon Wildlife Trust).
APOLOGIES David Robinson, Liz Leaming, Jackie Tait.
- MINUTES July 2017 Minutes accepted as read.
- FINANCE/GRANTS Funds held of £70 when the trailer insurance for this year is paid we will have a balance of £20. It was agreed that further funds need to be raised to enable the group to pay the future basic bills received from September 2018 onwards. Mike Adames is applying for funding from Clevedon Town Council to support the group.
- RIVER CLEANING An excellent job was made by the EA clearing the weed between Court Lane and Northern Way on Aug 25th, our thanks were passed on to the same operative, who with a smaller machine completed the Northern Way to Yeates Court section yesterday. They will soon move down to start again near Strode Road Bridge and clear down to the outfall. The EA are hoping to start the hand work from Meadow Road through the town on 16th October. Part of the large clump of weed upstream from Tyres Direct was sprayed by the EA around the beginning of September. On the 24th three of the nearby riparian owners managed to remove most of the weed that had been restricting the flow. It was also encouraging to find recently that a large clump of watercress behind Clevedon Funeral Services, that had also escaped the attention of the EA, had also been removed by another riparian owner.
- EQUIPMENT Nothing to report.
- FOOTPATHS/WALKS Mike Adames walked the route of the proposed Two Rivers Walk with Andy Carroll of North Somerset Council. NSC have agreed to fund maintenance of new gates. This is the next step to getting the permissive path agreement from the Environment Agency. There may also be a possibility of further funding from local environment support groups, Geoff Harrison is investigating this.
- LEVELS AND FLOWS Following the weed clearing from Court Lane to Northern Way there was an increase in level of about 2 inches by Meadow Road. After the weed by Tyres Direct was removed the level dropped again and the flow improved, this illustrates how levels and flow can be affected when dense weed growth creates a restriction in the town section of the river. Following overnight rain there has been a further increase in level and flow through the town today, Cooks Clyse was checked this morning and was found to be on the summer level of 4.8m, with nothing flowing over the weir. This would again indicate an improvement in river capacity following recent weed removal, allowing 100% of the flow from upstream to pass through the town.
- RIVER SECTIONSHighways Agency land near Court Lane have still not been taken away. GH to chase
Bernard’s section – East of Northern Way: As noted yesterday the tent and rubbish gathered into a heap on
Stewart’s section – Northern Way to Tyre Depot. Following weed clearing completed by EA between Northern Way and Yeates Court on the 4th October, the burgeoning fish stocks will now have to tolerate cloudy water for a while until the disturbed silt clears, a kingfisher has also been seen on several occasions recently.
Stewart’s Section: Town section – A request has been made for the NSC trash screen to be cleared due to the build-up of leaves that is occurring. Several items of rubbish including a recycling box and child’s cycle were removed from the river beside the Conservative club on 24th August.
Liz’s section – Curzon Cinema to Strode Road. Flowing smoothly no sign of litter.
Paul’s section – Strode road to Outfall. A work party was organised with the Woodcutters on 27th September to remove some of the bushes and bramble growing over the Heron Bridge and its abutments, some of which had been trapping floating rubbish in the river. These arrangements were cancelled, as the week before it was noticed the work had already been carried out, we think this may have happened to enable North Somerset Council to carry out a bridge inspection. In addition the weed growth has been cut back from the river bank.
8.WATER QUALITY Nothing to report.
9.PUBLICTY Nothing to report.
10.WEBSITE Continues to attract hits and positive comments. It was suggested a face book presence might help the group.
11.ANY OTHER BUSINESS: Chris Hammond, warden for Avon Wildlife Gordano Valley areas attended the meeting. He was seeking information from LYF on otter presence and also provided valuable insight into a variety of environmental topics in and around the area. The meeting thanked Chris for his input and stimulating thoughts.
12. CSC has been booked for meetings on the following dates, Dec 7th 2017, Feb 1st 2018, Apr 5th 2018, June 7th 2018, Aug 2nd 2018, Sept 6th 2018 AGM
Minutes of Meeting Held on 27 July 2017
PRESENT Geoff Harrison (Chair), Stewart Edwards, Frances Harrison, David Robinson, Liz Leaming, Graham Watkins, Mike Adames, Paul Trowbridge
- MINUTES June 2017 Minutes accepted as read.
- FINANCE/GRANTS Funds held of £120.70. We will soon need to pay the annual £50 to Clevedon Sailing Club , for the hire of the meeting room
- RIVER CLEANING The use of herbicides by the EA to control weed growth has proved very successful in many parts of the town section of the river, especially between Parnell Road and the Conservative Club, there is also very little in the way of watercress now by Strode road and the bridge, the recent spells of dry weather have probably helped increase its effectiveness. However there is one very bad section that has been missed where weed is spanning the river just upstream from Tyres Direct, a request has been made for this to receive similar treatment as the spraying in other areas has also been very successful in eliminating the root structures. It was noticed this week that machine weed clearing by the EA has started on the Blind Yeo, this would normally take place before weed clearing starts on the Land Yeo.
- EQUIPMENT The long handle rake has been collected and returned to central store.
- FOOTPATHS/WALKS – MA & SE completed most of the Two Rivers Walk with Paul Selway from the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group on 3rd June. The same walk was also completed by GH & SE on 17th July with Eric Heath from Avon Wildlife who had expressed an interest in the walk and who we hoped might be able to help with the future maintenance requirement for the Bristol Gates and Styles. MA tasked to investigate further opportunities for this funding.
- LEVELS AND FLOWS Probably as a result of the dry weather and weed growth, not long after the last meeting a reduction in the water level through the town occurred, for the most part it has been similar to that expected in the winter. On four occasions since the last meeting the level at Cooks Clyse was noted at the summer level of 4.8 m with very little or no water at all passing over the weir. The level at the Outfall was noted at 4.3 m on the 17th July.
- REPORTS OF RIVER SECTIONSBernard’s section (The Yearling Ditch to Northern Way) – The tent and rubbish gathered into a heap on HA land near Court Lane have still not been taken away, there is a risk some of it could end up in the river close to the Court Lane culvert entrance. As expected the watercress near Court Lane has now spread across the river in several places and a request has been made for it to be sprayed. The EA have also been reminded that the branches from the rapidly growing willow tree upstream from the Northern Way footbridge are now spanning the river and reaching down into the river. GH to contact the Highways Department to remind them the rubbish still needs clearing.
- Stewart’s section (Northern Way to Tyres Direct) There are now five juvenile ducklings and a second brood of three moorhens at the moment, this is very encouraging as the water fowl have not met with much success raising young in the last couple of years. There is no shortage of fish this year including several large pike, in addition we have recently seen several large Bream; a shoal was noticed earlier in the year by Strode road bridge but have not been seen in this section before.
- Town section (Tyres Direct to the Curzon Cinema) The NSC screen was cleared on the 8th June and there has been relatively little build up since, the Old Dairy Court screen has also been reasonably clear, this is probably due to the weed mentioned above that is spanning the river upstream of Tyres Direct and is effectively trapping any debris being carried downstream (see Item 3 above). Spraying carried out by the EA has effectively cleared the weed previously reported between Parnell Road and the Conservative Club.
10 Liz’s section (from Curzon Cinema to Strode Road) A photograph of the swans and signets was taken by TI at the end of his garden near the Scout Hut shortly after the last meeting, their wellbeing appears to be much appreciated by other members of the public as photographs regularly appear on the Hello Clevedon Facebook site. Liz recently ran into a gentleman rescuing bucket loads of toads from beside Teatro, they could not make it up the river bank. Thank you if you are that person.
11 Paul’s section (Strode Road to the outfall including Jacobs Walk) It would appear that a visit from a couple of EA staff viewing the tree branches dropped into the river near Brunel Engraving was enough to encourage the riparian owner to take them back out!! The reed growth near Marshalls Field has not been as vigorous as usual this year and so far has not managed to span the river.
12 WATER QUALITYFollowing a recent storm an oil slick was reported in the river as it emerges from the bridge across Parnell Road. The river was running clear the following morning when inspected by the LYF.Some encouraging comments from Eric Heath (Avon Wildlife) whilst walking the Two Rivers route with regard to appearance of river quality and efforts being made to reduce phosphate reduction in watercourses generally.
The response to GH’s Freedom of Information request to the Environment Agency has made it clear that:
- The Agency is the statutory duty holder with accountability for enactment of the Water Framework directive and the Habitat Directive
- They regularly sample the Land Yeo both at statutory sampling locations and at incident driven locations.
- They were clearly aware of the detail along the complete length of the Land Yeo and its surroundings and potential risk areas resulting from particular farm layouts and / or topography. They noted our specific concerns and agreed some features were undesirable but did not see them to be an imminent high risk category.
- They stated that they are taking action at some specific locations in relation to water quality issues.
On the basis of this response it was agreed to keep a watching brief rather than engage in a sampling or intervention by the LYFs.PUBLICITY Talk for Trefoil Guild has been cancelled, as they do not have a projector nor do we. The talk has recently been updated however we are in need of a projector, we do not have the funds to buy one. Does anyone have one they can donate or do you know of any source we may obtain one. We were recently approached by Clevedon Town Council as a matter of urgency asking the LYF to clear some rubbish from the river, it was made clear to them what our standing as a voluntary group is. An article in the North Somerset Times by the Town Council followed the discussion pointing out to riparian owners their responsibilities. The article also highlighted to the general public, the need to dispose of rubbish responsibly.
12 WEBSITE Continues to attract hits and positive comments.
13 ANY OTHER BUSINESS None
14 CSC Has been booked for AGM September 7th. All welcome please try and attend we would love to see you
Minutes of Meeting Held on 1st June 2017
PRESENT Geoff Harrison (Chair), Stewart Edwards, Frances Harrison, David Robinson, Liz Leaming, Graham Watkins, Mike Adames, Mike Fearon.
APOLOGIES Paul Trowbridge
- MINUTES April 2017 Minutes accepted as read.
- FINANCE/GRANTS Funds held of £120.70. Avon Wildlife have agreed to pay the costs of the new leaflets direct to the printers.
- RIVER CLEANING No organised clearing work has been undertaken during the nesting season. Part of a fence panel was removed from the river near the mouth of the culvert under Tyres Direct, a few days later Stewart had to return to the same location to remove a small pallet which had been washed into the mouth of the culvert following the torrential downpour on the 11th May
- EQUIPMENT Long handle rake to be collected and returned to central store.
- FOOTPATHS/WALKS Stewart will be taking Paul Selway of the Clevedon Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group around the route of the Two Rivers Walk this Saturday afternoon. Geoff is to write to Environment Agency about delays in completing the land issues for the Two Rivers Walk.
- LEVELS AND FLOWS Now the summer levels have been set, conditions have again been steady and normal for the time of year, apart from a rapid but brief increase in level following the downpour on the 11th May.
- REPORTS OF RIVER SECTIONS
Bernard’s section (The Yearling Ditch to Northern Way) – Tent and rubbish near Court Lane have been gathered into a heap. Perhaps the Highways Authority are preparing for its removal. Two broods of moorhens and three ducklings were seen between Court Lane and Northern Way. The spread of watercress in this section is moderate at the moment although in places it is half way across the river, the most rapid rate of growth usually occurs in June.
Stewart’s section (Northern Way to Tyres Direct) – Details and photographs of the bank slippage have been forwarded to the Environment Agency, Asset Performance Department. This will highlight if it is an issue that needs addressing. For the first time in a couple of years there has been a brood of ducklings and moorhens in this section, although the final three ducklings reached a reasonable size, unfortunately they all eventually disappeared. So far the moorhens have been more successful, at the last count there were five and hopefully they will mature to a size when they will be safe from predators.
Town section (Tyres Direct to the Curzon Cinema) – There has been a gradual build up on the NSC trash screen and a request has been made for it to be cleared, the Old Dairy Court screen is still being cleared on a regular basis. The Environment Agency have posted notices in advance of weed spraying and have been made aware of the vigorous growth that is occurring in the section between Parnell Road and the Conservative Club.
Liz’s section (from Curzon Cinema to Strode Road) – A large shoal of Bream were recently seen between Strode Road and Churchill Avenue, most were about twelve to fifteen inches long, there were also a very large number of tadpoles near the footbridge into South Clevedon Playing fields. A brood of about eight ducklings have also been seen and hopefully they are now large enough to survive predation.
Paul’s section (Strode Road to the outfall including Jacobs Walk) – Nesting Swans and signets have left this area there has been a possible sighting up stream.
- WATER QUALITY LYF have just received latest phosphate sampling under freedom of information request from the Environment Agency. The results continue to show levels exceeding Water Framework recommendations for a watercourse. A brief comparison was made at the meeting between these latest Environment Agency results and those contained in the dissertation report previously produced as part of a university Masters Degree course. Indications are that phosphates are penetrating further into the town from upstream contamination. Geoff to review more fully and report back on the results.
Geoff to write to the Environment Agency again seeking more information on their accountability and plans in regard to phosphate reduction in the Land Yeo. Previous correspondence with the Environment Agency on this topic led to being directed to the Bristol Avon Catchment partnership which has not been overly productive.
It was noted that there have been two reports on BBC Countryfile recently that have mentioned phosphates contamination of water courses resulting from the spreading of farm and sewage sludge.
- PUBLICITY Five hundred new leaflets have been printed by Paceprint. If anyone would like some for distribution please contact Geoff or Stewart.
- WEBSITE Continues to attract hits and positive comments.
- ANY OTHER BUSINESS North Somerset confirmed they are unable to help with river clean ups.
- CSC Has been booked for meetings on the following dates in 2017, 3rd AUGUST has been rebooked for 27th July, AGM September 7th.
Minutes of Meeting Held on 6th April 2017
PRESENT Geoff Harrison (Chair), Stewart Edwards, Frances Harrison, David Robinson, Liz Leaming, Graham Watkins, Paul Trowbridge, various visitors from Clevedon Neighbourhood Plan and its Stakeholders
APOLOGIES Mike Adames
- CLEVEDON NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN The Clevedon Neighbourhood Plan group took the opportunity to attend the LYF meeting. They attended with various “green” Stakeholder groups to discuss the Plan and consult with the groups. Each group introduced themselves and described what they had already achieved together with their aims for the future.
- MINUTES February 2017 Minutes accepted as read.
- FINANCE/GRANTS Funds held of £120.70. Web site renewal fee waivered by a committee member contribution. .
- RIVER CLEANING Thanks to the efforts of SO,MA,PS,TI,SS and SE rubbish was removed from the bank between Strode Rd and Marshalls Field on the 21st March. On the 28th March the boat was used to remove the rubbish that could not be reached from the bank, thanks again to SO,MA,SS,SE and PT.
- EQUIPMENT Nothing to report.
- FOOTPATHS/WALKS Two Rivers Walk. Mike Adames advised us by E Mail land issues are with the EA Estates Department who are checking out the final details. It looks as though it is going to happen.
- LEVELS AND FLOWS Levels have again been steady and normal for the time of year, another improved metre board has been installed at Cooks Clyse allowing Land Yeo level readings to be taken from the footpath on the west side of the Yearling Ditch, i.e. 4.7 m 19th March. Outfall level noted at 4.34 m on 26th February.
- REPORTS OF RIVER SECTIONS
Bernard’s section – The tent now appears to be falling apart and there is a lot of rubbish scattered around on the river bank. On the 19th March it was noticed the bicycle had been removed near the Northern Way footbridge and had been left propped up against the fence, a visit was made on the 21st March to pick it up but it was no longer there, hopefully it has not been returned to the river. Geoff to contact Highways Agency to seek removal of rubbish and clean-up of the area.
Stewart’s section –The EA have visited to take photographs of the bank slumping on the south side between the footbridges, help may be available as this bank gives them access for maintenance and weed clearing. Shoals of fish have returned probably Roach, the same afternoon four Pike were also seen varying in length from 12 to 18 inches.
Town section – The NSC screen was cleared not long after the last meeting, a gradual build up has since occurred. This has now been removed. An increase in weed growth including watercress is now very noticeable in the sheltered section between Parnell Road and Kenn Road.
Trevor’s section – Rubbish removed from river near footbridge into South Clevedon Playing Fields on the 21st March and bicycle removed near Churchill Avenue on the 28th March.
Paul’s section – Work parties organised removing rubbish from the bank and river between Strode Road and Marshalls Field.
- WATER QUALITY Avon Wildlife confirmed no response from the farmers they had contacted. It was suggested LYF contact EA direct, Geoff to approach Avon Wildlife for further discussion on the way forward. On warm sunny days there is a constant stream of black algae rising from the bed of the river and floating on the surface from Court Lane into the town section where it is held back by the trash screens.
- PUBLICITY The meeting agreed the final version of the LYF leaflet. Avon Wildlife have suggested they may be able to contribute to the publishing costs of the leaflet, Geoff will contact them to see what funds they are willing to provide.
- WEBSITE Nothing to report
- ANY OTHER BUSINESS Charges and access to the Waste Disposal Facility were revised on the 1st March. Graham Watkins agreed he would discuss with the Town Council at their next meeting to see if there was a way forward for improved access for the LYF trailer.
- CSC has been booked for meetings on the following dates in 2017, 1st June, 3rd AUG has been rebooked for 27th July, 7th Sept AGM.
Minutes of Meeting Held on 2nd February 2017
PRESENT Geoff Harrison (Chair), Stewart Edwards, Mike Adames, Bernard Grey, Frances Harrison
APOLOGIES Judith James, Jackie Tait, Graham Watkins, Liz Leaming, Mike Fearon, David Robinson
- MINUTES December 2016 Minutes accepted as read.
- FINANCE/GRANTS Funds held of £120.70. A cheque for £15 is to be made for web site annual fee. Leaving a balance of £105.70 (this includes the donation from Clevedon Town Council). Mike is to arrange removal of Judith’s name at the bank naming her as LYF secretary, as a result of her request to step down as the group’s secretary.
- RIVER CLEANING. Weed clearing was completed by the EA between Northern Way and Meadow Road on the 19th December and from Strode Road down to Marshalls Field the following day. It was agreed, the river bank would be cleaned up during March weather and volunteers permitting.
- EQUIPMENT Some bin liners have been donated free of charge for rubbish collecting.
- FOOTPATHS/WALKS Two Rivers Walk Mike reported good progress on permitted ways. Issue still remain with funding of long term maintenance. Mike is investigating potential solutions.
- LEVELS AND FLOWS Following completion of weed clearing by the EA there has been a reduction in material being carried downstream, as a result there has been a decrease in the build-up on the trash screens. Levels and flow have been mostly steady and normal for this time of the year, apart from this week, when there was an increase on Wednesday following rain during Tuesday night. Levels were checked on the 14th and 15th January at the tilting weirs, Cooks Clyse was just below 4.7 m and the Outfall just above 4.3 m.
- REPORTS OF RIVER SECTIONS
Bernard’s section – The tent is still beside the river between the M5 and Court Lane but does not appear to have been used recently. A bicycle has been dumped in the river near the footbridge beside Northern Way.
Stewart’s section – Machine weed clearing was finally completed from Northern Way to Meadow Road in December. Compared to previous winters there has been an increase in the amount of river bank slumping on the south side between the Meadow Road and
Medical Centre foot bridges
Town section – NSC screen was eventually cleared on the 12th December, it has been reasonably clear until this week, another request for clearing was made yesterday due to the build-up of debris following the increase in level and flow yesterday, NSC have confirmed it will be cleared soon. An Egret was recently spotted in the river behind the cinema.
Trevor’s section – Nothing to report.
Paul’s section – Weed clearing completed between Strode Road and Marshalls Field in December. A gas cylinder was recently recovered from the river near Marshalls Field
- WATER QUALITY LYF have assisted Chantel Brown from Avon Wildlife in identifying potential pollution locations along the length of the river. Avon Wildlife are a major stakeholder in the Bristol Avon Catchment Partnership and are seeking opportunities to assist Riparian owners to improve quality of the river.
- PUBLICITY David has submitted a final draft of the updated LYF leaflet. Geoff will circulate this to all committee members. Thanks to David for all of his time and hard work.
- WEBSITE A posting has been received on the website asking if the group had any knowledge of the proposed housing development north of Nailsea, asking if we could provide the local community with any information. The group did not feel it had any contribution to give at the moment. The situation will continue to be monitored by LYF as it may impact the river.
- ANY OTHER BUSINESS The group were entertained by Michael Adames eating his hand crafted baked hat. This was in celebration of the installation of the new drain under Jacobs Walk removing the soft spot created by roof drainage from the adjacent buildings. In the December it was recorded that Judith James had stood down as secretary to the group. Frances Harrison will be taking over this duty.
- CSC has been booked for meetings on the following dates in 2017, 6th Apr, 1st June, 3rd Aug has been rebooked for 27th July, 7th Sept AGM.