Minutes of Meeting Held on 1st December 2016
PRESENT Ian Wilson (guest representing North Somerset Resilience Community Team), Geoff Harrison (Chair), Stewart Edwards, David Robinson, Mike Adames, Liz Leaming, Graham Watkins, Paul Trowbridge Frances Harrison
APOLOGIES Judith James, Jackie Tait Mike Fearon
- Ian Wilson gave a presentation on the aims and objectives of the North Somerset Resilience initiative. Ian would like to recruit members and supporters of the Land Yeo Friends either as individuals or as a group, to utilise their local knowledge to compliment the emergency services. Any of the group or the wider list of supporters who would like further information, can contact Ian on firstname.lastname@example.org.
- MINUTES October 2016 Minutes accepted as read. GW said the section of fence referred to in the minutes had been removed.
- FINANCE/GRANTS Funds held of £171.50. A cheque for £50.45 is to be made for insurance renewal in respect of the boat and trailer. Leaving a balance of £121.05.
- RIVER CLEANING Weed clearing has still not been completed between Northern Way and Meadow Road and from Strode Road down to Marshalls Field, the EA have been contacted for an update, they are still waiting for the final approval before the work can be carried out. Weather permitting, rubbish collecting by the LYF will probably be organised sometime early in the 2017. The short section between the M5 and Court Lane is now relatively weed free.
- EQUIPMENT Insurance for the boat and trailer has been renewed see item 3.
- FOOTPATHS/WALKS: Two rivers Walk,:MA Reported expecting permissions to be given in the next two weeks. Drainage work has now been completed under Jacob’s Walk, after two years of pressure. This stops roof drainage from Brunel Engraving softening the path.
- LEVELS AND FLOWS During the last 2 months there have been several occasions when the flow has been restricted by weed clogging the trash screens. Curo group have now arranged for their screen in Old Dairy Court to be cleared weekly whilst the problem with the weed being carried down persists, ( i.e. from the Northern Way to Meadow Road section). The NSC screen has also been cleared a couple of times. Levels and flow have been otherwise normal except for increases following heavy rain on the 8th and 21 November, after the latest period of wet weather the weir at Cooks Clyse was lowered, probably to the winter level to improve drainage. There is still some flow through the town but it has slowed following the setting of the lower winter level.
- REPORTS OF RIVER SECTIONS
Bernard’s section – A large tent has been noticed beside the river between the M5 and Court Lane, problems have occurred there in the past as a result of squatters setting up a camp, the Highway Agency (the land owner) are aware and have informed the Police.
Stewart’s section Machine weed clearing still to be completed from Northern Way to Meadow Road, most of the fish have now left this section, which is expected at this time of the year, they usually return in the spring, following the heavy rain there has been some slumping of the bank on the south side.
Town section – Old Dairy Court screen now being cleared weekly, NSC screen has been cleared twice and another request for cleaning has been made due to the build-up following recent heavy rain.
Trevor’s section – Clump of weed left in river near the end of Churchill Ave now dying back, it may have been sprayed. A section of fence from the footbridge path into South Clevedon playing field has been vandalised and thrown into the river (GW contacting NSC?). See item 2 this has now been removed.
Paul’s section – Weed clearing to be completed between Strode Road and Marshalls Field.
- WATER QUALITY During a recent walk it was noticed that drainage from cow sheds near Gatcombe Farm Shop, Long Ashton, was being channelled into the Land Yeo, this could also apply at another farm site in Barrow Gurney, this run off from the farm yards could be contributing to the high phosphate levels found in the river near Gatcombe Farm, both locations visited by GH, DR and SE on the 21st October. GH to contact Chantal Brown at
Avon Wildlife. Who are assisting Farmers in this area.
- PUBLICITY DR submitted articles which were published in the Mendip Times and Clevedon Living. DR also brought along a draft update for a new leaflet. Committee to respond by next meeting.
- WEBSITE No queries have been made via the website.
- ANY OTHER BUSINESS Liz Leaming has taken over the circulation of minutes, agendas etc. Liz has offered to send cards to Jackie Tait and Judith James. In thanks of their past secretarial and administration services. CSC has been booked for meetings on the following dates in 2017, 2nd Feb, 6th Apr,1st June,3rd AUG has been rebooked for 27th July, 7th Sept AGM. Liz suggest we might think about support message in a bottle to move plastic from the environment SAS. See following link https://www.sas.org.uk/campaign/message-in-a-bottle/
LAND YEO FRIENDS
MINUTES of a Meeting held on 6 October 2016
PRESENT: Geoff Harrison (Chair), Stewart Edwards, David Robinson, M Adames, Liz Leaming, Graham Watkins, Judith James, Chantal Brown, Conservation Adviser, Avon Wildlife Trust
APOLOGIES: Paul Trowbridge, M Fearon, Jackie Tait
- MINUTES of meeting on 4 August approved.
- FINANCES/GRANTS – A grant of £100 has been received from Clevedon Town Council. G Watkins was asked to carry the LYF’s thanks to the Council.
- RIVER CLEANING – Machine weed clearing has been done from Yearling Ditch to Northern Way. Downstream section to Meadow Road and from Strode Road to Marshalls Field will also be done by machine shortly. Manual clearing from Meadow Road to Strode Road has taken place, and the short section between M5 and Court Lane. EA have been advised that some clumps of weed have been missed near Churchill Avenue and Shoplands Sawmill. The banks are relatively clear of rubbish, but there will be more after weed clearing is completed and vegetation dies back.
- EQUIPMENT – nothing to report
- FOOTPATHS/WALKS – NSC council hope to do the required work at Jacobs Walk around the end of October.
- LEVELS AND FLOW – Following weed clearing level and flow through the town improved the first week of September. Weir at Cooks Clyse still set at 4.8 m but water level is below top of weir and currently 100% of flow from Tickenham is passing through the town. Outfall level recently noted at 4.3 m (around normal) with a good flow of water into the Pill
- REPORTS ON RIVER SECTIONSB Stewart’s Section – Machine weed clearing from Northern Way to Meadow Road completed . Downstream reasonably clear with large shoals of fish, despite best efforts of heron.D Trevor’s Section – River now reasonably weed free. Japanese knotweed has been sprayed but may require further treatment. A section of fence from the footbridge path into playing field has been vandalised and thrown into river. GW to investigate ownership of fence before we dispose of it.
- E Paul’s Section – There is a large amount of reed growth between Strode Road and Marshalls Field, together with some large trees growing on or near the bank. A willow at the end of a cul-de-sac off Westbourne Crescent now has branches in the water. Plenty of ducks and two swans.
- c Town Section – Parnell Road to Conservative Club much improved following spraying and weed clearing. Request to NSC for trash screen to be cleared as some weed caught on it has started to grow.
- A Bernard’s Section – Brambles and watercress removed between Court Lane and Northern Way. Some of willow tree undercut where close to the water.
- WATER QUALITY – A brief history of the group was explained to visitor, Chantal Brown from Avon Wildlife Trust. The LYF had invited AWT following concerns that arose in relation to water quality highlighted in Jennifer Taylor’s investigations for a recent degree dissertation. AWT are a key stakeholder and project manage the North Somerset Levels project for the Bristol Avon Catchment Partnership.
Chantal explained that AWF did soil tests on farms and advised farmers about access to grants for improvement works. Currently their focus is in the southern area of the Levels rather than around the Land Yeo which is programmed for consideration later. The Bristol Catchment Partnership which is concerned with water quality throughout the area is funded by Wessex Water, which has some capital funding available. She drew our attention to an interesting website – WIMBY (What’s In My Back Yard). Chantel also noted there was an opportunity for a joint LYF/AWT river walk at some time in the future.
- PUBLICITY – An article was printed in Mendip Times. David will prepare one for Clevedon Town Council Newsletter. Discussion about preparation of a new copy of our LYF flyer was postponed to next meeting.
- AOB – Sailing Club has been booked for meetings: 1 December 2016, 2 February 2017, 6 April, 1 June, (problem about 3 August, as CSC need room on that date – to be arranged), 7 October, 7 December.
- AGM – 8 September,
LAND YEO FRIENDS
Minutes of a meeting held on 4 August 2016 at Clevedon Sailing Club
PRESENT: Geoff Harrison (Chair), Stewart Edwards, David Robinson, Paul Trowbridge, Graham Watkins, Liz Leaming, Judith James
APOLOGIES; Michael Adames, Trevor and Chris Incles, Jackie Tait
Geoff Harrison welcomed Graham Watkins, Clevedon Town Council representative, to the committee.
- MINUTES OF MEETING held on 2 June were approved.
- FINANCES/GRANTS Bank Balance £71.15. Cheque to Sailing Club had been cleared and no further expenses were anticipated until insurance falls due in autumn.
- RIVER CLEANING – LYF have done no cleaning during the nesting season. EA to start machine weed cutting and manual clearing through the town. There will also be selective spraying. Watercress has been growing in some sections. It is bad downstream from Court Lane but not on the same scale as last year in the town.
- EQUIPMENT – nothing to report
- FOOTPATHS/WALKS – nothing to report.
- LEVELS AND FLOW – Water level through the town dropped towards the end of June, probably due to watercress spanning the river near Court Lane causing a restriction. At the time water was still passing over the weir at Cooks Clyse which was on summer setting of 4.8 m. The dry period in July probably resulted in a reduced flow and lower river level.
- REPORTS ON RIVER SECTIONSB Stewart’s Section – Further increase in duck population including several juveniles. During June a large amount of pale green blanket weed grew up from the bed of the river, completely spanning section between the two footbridges. Towards the end of the month it began to break up and float downstream.D Trevor’s Section – Weed growth has been moderate and watercress is much less than last year. Several broods of ducklings have been raised and two adult swans are seen in this section. There has been some spraying but EA have been informed that there is Japanese Knotweed.They are awaiting a satisfactory quote for this work. Paul reported reed growth further down river. The south bank in Marshall’s Field had been cut back. A strip of vegetation has been cut on both sides of Jacobs Walk to keep path clear, but wild flowers and nettles have been allowed to grow naturally along bank. A healthy duck population reported.
- E Paul’s Section – David had received e-mail from Andy Carroll (North Somerset Council) to say the run-off from Brunel Engraving is to be dealt with by a pipe under the path to discharge into the river.
- C Town Section – The Old Dairy Court trash screen had to be cleared frequently in June following the increase in floating weed. EA have carried out some spraying to control weed growth including section between Parnell Road and Conservative Club where growth has been strong, including a weed believed to be hemlock.
- A Bernard’s Section – During July watercress has spread across the width of the river for about 100 m downstream from Court Lane. EA have confirmed the cuttings from brambles and watercress will soon be removed by machine clearing. They are also aware of willow tree spreading across river between Northern Way and Court Lane.
- WATER QUALITY – EA is aware of high phosphate levels with a variety of potential sources identified. The primary source appears not to have been identified. There is a Bristol Avon Catchment Plan published in Jan 2016, (www.bristolavoncatchment.co.uk) sponsored by the likes of Wessex Water, the EA, Avon Wildlife Trust and North Somerset Council. Within the plan, Avon Wildlife are project leaders for habitat and water quality initiatives for North Somerset Levels and Moors, including the Land Yeo. Their representative would like to meet and brief LYF at a future meeting. (POST MEETING NOTE: Chantal Brown of Avon Wildlife Trust will attend 6th Oct LYF meeting). Geoff has volunteered for membership of Clevedon Neighbourhood Plan heritage and environment subgroup representing in particular the interests of the LY with remit of keeping a healthy river running through the town as an integral part of the town’s habitat.
- PUBLICITY – nothing to report. Graham drew attention to Clevedon Town Council newsletter, published 10 times a year as a possible vehicle for publicity for LYF.
- WEBSITE – a few hits.
- ANY OTHER BUSINESS – David drew attention to MARLENS Festival in late September and there was discussion as to whether we should be represented. Geoff and Judith away that weekend but David will enquire about a stand and ask for volunteers to man it. Liz volunteered some cover. There was some discussion about the suggestion of the playing fields being used for house building. Graham Watkins assured that Town Council did not support this.
- DATE OF NEXT MEETI NG – ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING, Thursday, 1 September 2016 at 7.30 pm at Clevedon Sailing Club.
Minutes of Meeting held on 2nd June 2016 at Clevedon Sailing Club Present: Mike Adames, Stewart Edwards, Mike Fearon, Geoff Harrison, Liz Leaming, David
Robinson, Jackie Tait, Paul Trowbridge.
1 APOLOGIES – Judith James.
2 MINUTES OF LAST MEETING – Minutes accepted.
3 FINANCES/GRANTS – Balance at bank: £121.15. MA reminded the meeting that the rent for the sailing club was due soon and also insurance. Jennifer (the student who has been studying water quality in the Land Yeo) and her Mum have sent a card thanking us for our help and kindly made a donation of £50. Grant from CTC has not yet materialised.
4 RIVER CLEANING – No clearing work has been carried out by LYF during the nesting season.
5 EQUIPMENT – Another 12 permits were received from NSC on 14th April to allow access to the recycling centre with the trailer. This should last us up to two years.
6 FOOTPATHS/WALKS – SE recently walked checking the river from Meadow Road to the Yearling Ditch and Cooks Clyse, several horses are now being kept in the 2 fields between Court Lane and the Yearling Ditch, to control the grazing several portable fences have been erected, some across the footpaths, there is nothing to separate the horses from the footpaths which could be a concern for some walkers, especially if they have a dog.
7 LEVELS & FLOW – There has been very little change in the water level since the last meeting, the setting at Cooks Clyse was recently noted just below 4.8 m, with a relatively small amount of water flowing over the weir. LL said that a notice had been erected by the EA stating that spraying on banks would take place in the Jacobs Walk area and asked why this needed to be done. SE said some selected areas are treated to combat weed growth in the river. It had been noted that there was evidence of Japanese Knott Weed to the rear of the Chinese restaurant in Old Church Road. SE explained how the EA needed to clear the edges of the river for safety reasons. Referring to river flow MF explained the historic statistics produced by the National River Flow Archive and in particular the flow at Wraxall House on the Land Yeo over the last 40 years. He had prepared a graph showing rates of flow over this period and also explained the history of a water turbine at the rear of his premises in Tickenham.
8 WATER QUALITY- E-mail sent by Geoff to EA re phosphates etc. and a reply has been received from Mark Thorne, Environment Officer. The phosphates had been noted as ‘moderate’ and EA were watching this issue. Avon Wild Life, Avon Water Catchment Group, Wessex Water, Bristol Water, Bristol/Avon River Trust .. all of the above are concerned with phosphates in rivers. Wessex WA having goals on discharges re phosphate content. GH will report back on developments having attempted to contact other interested parties, together with facts and figures.
9 REPORT OF RIVER SECTIONS
Bernard’s section – Brambles have been cut on the north bank between Northern Way and Court Lane, most of the cuttings have fallen in the river, also the Willow tree growing out from the north bank in this section is now very large and is spanning the river, (SE to contact the EA). Watercress is starting to spread near Court Lane, but not too far out from the bank the moment.
Stewart’s section – There are still large shoals of fish, a heron was recently spotted at the back of the Medical Centre, more ducks have returned, recent gatherings of up to 12 have been seen, 5 ducklings were spotted (only once) about 4 weeks ago. Weed is growing up from the river bed, there is some Watercress but it is not spreading much at the moment.
Town section – Both trash screens were cleared early in May, more debris has built up since but does not appear to be causing a restriction at the moment. Weed growth has been very vigorous in the sheltered section between Parnell Rd and the Conservative Club, there is some Watercress and also another plant which appears to be Hemlock, the EA have been contacted and have said they will spray it when conditions allow. A small section between Parnell road culvert and the bridge has been manually cleared, possibly by a riparian owner. Rats had been seen feeding on food left for ducks. No swans or moorhens seen and it seems ducklings are falling prey to other wildlife. MF asked if we had any contact with local anglers. It was remembered that we had in the past. Otters seem to be present in the general area. GH thought this worth mentioning to Avon Wildlife.
Trevor’s section – Since the last meeting there have been no updates with regard to the survey of buildings on the river bank. River condition good at the moment, weed growth moderate, although there is some Japanese Knotweed growing again on the bank next to the Scout Hut/rear of Chinese restaurant, this will also be dealt with by the EA.
Paul’s section – Condition of Jacobs Walk path has improved with drier conditions, however resurfacing would be beneficial before the wetter winter months particularly in the area near the old bridge which leads into Yeo Way. Bank on both sides of the path requires cutting, NSC have taken care of this in the past. Regarding the building which had been erected on the river bank behind 34 Tennyson Avenue PT reported that the building had been moved back in to the garden perimeter and the fence panel erected in place of the gate onto Southern Way now has a large gateway cut into it which appears to give access to the river bank. A shoal of large fish were recently spotted from Strode Road bridge, there is also some weed growing up from the river bed.
10 PUBLICITY- David’s report in NS Times 11th. There had been no developments regarding an alternative venue for meetings.
11 WEBSITE- Fee has been paid. GH is arranging for the site to be in his name. The system is all up and running but only a few queries have been made.
12 ANY OTHER BUSINESS – Nothing to report on CTC re help with grants, meeting room etc. Contact JT again to clarify some of the points raised in her dissertation.
13 CSC has been booked for meetings on the following, Aug 4th 2016, Sept 1st 2016 AGM
LAND YEO FRIENDS
MINUTES of a Meeting held on 7 April 2016 at Clevedon Sailing Club
PRESENT: Geoff Harrison (Chair), Stewart Edwards, David Robinson, Michael Adames, Mike Fearon, Judith James, Jennifer Taylor, Julie Taylor
APOLOGIES: Paul Trowbridge
- MINUTES of meeting held on 4 February 2016 approved.
- FINANCES/GRANTS – Balance at bank £71. G Harrison, S Edwards and M Adames had attended Town Council meeting to ask for a free room for our meetings, but the request was turned down. Treasurer asked what expenses were anticipated – these would be £50 for rent at Sailing Club and insurance in November. Treasurer felt we need to have £100 in the bank and agreed to seek a grant from Town Council.
- RIVER CLEANING – A working party on 17 March cleared rubbish from the bank following weed clearing from Playing Fields to Marshalls Field. The boat was used to recover rubbish, several traffic cones and 2 supermarket trolleys. Weed has been cleared from river bed behind Leslie Dark offices by a riparian owner.
- EQUIPMENT – S Edwards will make application to NSC for permits to the recycling centre.
- FOOTPATHS/WALKS – SE reported that with the summer level set and the river clear of weed this is a good time to walk the river banks through the town. Nothing further to report about improvements to Jacobs Walk footpath. MA had been in touch with the EA about the Two Rivers Walk which awaits their action.
- LEVELS AND FLOW – Following setting of Cooks Clyse to summer level on 24 March the level in the town has increased by about 10 cm. This has improved the flow. Levels have been steady apart from a temporary increase following heavy rain. M Fearon reported on a discussion he has had with the EA about levels. The IDB and EA determine levels, but EA have final say. MF further discussion with EA.
- REPORTS OF RIVER SECTIONS
A Bernard’s Section – Brambles have been cut on the north bank between Northern Way and Court Lane, some cuttings have fallen in river.
B Stewart’s Section – Some slumping of bank between Meadow Road and Medical Centre footbridge due to wet weather. River condition good with shoals of fish. However, there is a significant reduction in number of ducks.
C Town Section – NSC trash screen was cleared in February and 23 March, but heavy rain on the 27 March washed down more material which accumulated and a request was made on 30 March for another clearing. The Curo group have cleared the screen at the Old Dairy Court following a request as there was more debris than normal building up. This screen is normally cleared every two weeks.
D Trevor’s Section – Residents were notified that the EA was to carry out a survey of buildings on the river bank between Coleridge Vale North and Marshalls Field. The enforcement officer to report.
- E Paul’s Section – owners of 24 Tennyson Avenue and neighbours on the north bank also subject to EA survey. The state of footpath mentioned in item 5 (above) awaiting action from NSC.
- PUBLICITY – N Somerset Times published David’s recent photo of river clearing team, but failed to include our request for donations.
- WEBSITE – Geoff is now the domain owner but has so far failed to pay the site fee of £15. He will contact Simon to see if this payment can be made via him.
- ANY OTHER BUSINESS – Committee members had attended a recent town council meeting and given a presentation about the LYF. The council is keen to have representation on our committee. Geoff had attended inaugural meeting of Clevedon Neighbourhood Plan which is a residents’ initiative. The group concerned with open spaces includes the river. David produced some laminated maps of the river course produced by the EA in 2011.
- Jennifer Taylor presented her completed dissertation for her degree. She had used the Land Yeo to investigate how the quality of water had been affected by man’s channelling in the urban environment. Her work included a comparison of water quality compared with a previous study done in 1998. Her conclusions were that dissolved oxygen levels are improved, but that there was a high level of phosphate solution. She gave a copy to the LYF. We would be able to use her work for further investigation of the phosphate problem and thanks were expressed.
- DATE OF NEXT MEETING – Thursday, 2 June 2016 at 7.30 at Clevedon Sailing Club.
LAND YEO FRIENDS
MINUTES of a meeting held on 4 February 2016 at Clevedon Sailing Club
PRESENT: Geoff Harrison (Chair), Stewart Edwards, David Robinson, Mike Adames, Paul Trowbridge, Judith James
APOLOGIES: M Fearon, J Tait
- MINUTES of meeting held on 10 December 2015 agreed
- FINANCES/GRANTS – Balance at bank £71.40. Treasurer asked if any further expenditure was expected in near future. Cheques for Sailing Club and Insurance have been cleared. Geoff Harrison queried whether there would be any cost for website. Geoff had found out that Greggs, the bakers, ran a foundation which offered grants of up to £500 for environmental projects. It was agreed that a possible project was to improve Frank’s path near Heron Bridge where the surface needs improving. As the grant from Greggs had a short time scale (applications by March) it was agreed that a grant for this project would be sought from Clevedon Town Council.
- RIVER CLEANING – SE had walked the river bank from the outfall to Strode Road and Playing Fields to assess rubbish removed by EA river cleaning. Following a period of very wet weather the river bank was very muddy and slippery. When conditions improve a working party will be organised to pick up rubbish and two supermarket trollies in river by footbridge into playing fields.
- EQUIPMENT – nothing to report
- FOOTPATHS/WALKS – On 28 January, SE and GH had visited several locations along the Land Yeo from the Trout Farm to Queens Square, stopping by Tickenham Mill, Yearling Ditch and Cooks Clyse. The trash screens in Old Dairy Court and by Conservative Club were also viewed. The Two Rivers walk still waiting on EA.
- LEVELS AND FLOW – There was a slight increase in level at beginning of January after a period of heavy rain, otherwise level and flow through the town have been normal for the time of year.
- REPORTS OF RIVER SECTIONSB Stewart’s Section – SE has completed annual cutback of marginal plants on the bank. Water has been mostly clear.D Trevor’s Section – EA investigating building on Coleridge Vale side of river.
- E Paul’s Sectio n – Already discussed resurfacing of path near Heron Bridge. (See under Minute 2) EA investigating building on river bank to the rear of 34 Tennyson Avenue.
- C Town Section – The trash screens have been cleared but a check will have to be made on the NSC screen where debris is starting to build up. Houses are being built on the Staddon site, where it looks as though a couple of concrete blocks have toppled into the river.
- A Bernard’s Section – The river is virtually weed free with a good flow of water, especially down the Yearling Ditch.
- PUBLICITY – nothing to report
- WEBSITE – GH now webmaster.
- ANY OTHER BUSINESS – DR reported we are waiting for Town Council’s decision on giving us room for meeting. SE recently met with JT, university student who is close to completing her dissertation on water quality in the Land Yeo. Samples have been taken to analyse water quality and establish if urbanisation has had any effect on the river. JT asked for the meeting to establish the main changes affecting water quality that have occurred since LYF was formed. Readings have been obtained for Dissolved Oxygen, Ammonia, Nitrates and Phosphates. Initial indications show improvement in Dissolved Oxygen compared to readings from 1998, although they are still not very good. Ammonia levels show no cause for concern. Nitrate levels are reasonable but seem to be higher at Gatcombe than Tickenham. Phosphate readings show cause for concern and again levels are higher at Gatcombe than Tickenham and at Medical Centre. Further investigation needed. LYF will get a copy of completed dissertation.
- DATE OF NEXT MEETING – Thursday, 7 April 2016 at 7.30 pm at Clevedon Sailing Club.