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.