News

June 2015

River walk

JACOB’S WALK

Back in 2010 our group – ‘The Land Yeo Friends’, led by their Chairperson of that year, the late Frank Jacobs, raised the money (£5,000+) and worked with North Somerset Council to lay a footpath between the road bridge on Strode Road and Yeo Way, along the river. Frank was himself very keen to do this because he had seen children getting wet and muddy walking along the river bank on their way to school.

Not long after the path was laid the ‘Friends’ advertised in the local papers for townspeople to come up with a name for the path, several were sent in and it was agreed to call it ‘Heron’s Way’.

However in October of last year, Frank, who was one of the key members of the ‘Friends’, sadly passed away  after a year of illness.

It occurred to us that it would be a good idea to name the path after the man who had given up so much of his time to get it established. We approached Clevedon Town Council and NSC and they agreed to support this idea.

The sign has now been installed at the Strode Road entrance to the path, which is now called Jacobs Walk.

A fitting tribute to a man that had the welfare of Clevedon Town and it’s people central in his vision.

I would like to thank The Land Yeo Friends, Clevedon Town Council and North Somerset Council, in particular Andy Carroll (Access Development Officer) for all their help in this project!

David, Annie, Mike & Paul (Annie is Frank's Widow)

David, Annie, Mike & Paul
(Annie is Frank’s Widow)

David Robinson (Chairperson, Land Yeo Friends).

July / August 2014

Several residents near the river have recently expressed concerns  about the rapid growth of a watercress type weed this year.

Following on from a mild winter and early spring, growing conditions have been ideal and the rate of growth has been unprecedented. One section of river from Court lane down to Northern Way and beyond was severely affected and was cleared with a machine on the 27th June. The Environment Agency usually carry out routine weed cutting in August and September, both with machines and by hand, from the Motorway to the Pill. We have on several occasions this year, expressed our concerns to the EA, we were told yesterday that one of their foremen would walk the river today (Friday 25/7), to assess the problem. In addition the foreman also visited one of the residents in the Fearnville Estate who had complained to the EA, they were also told that the Agency would be spraying the weed, as a means of controlling it. If the weed is to be sprayed, for it to be effective and reach the roots, we feel it would be best left for the EA to deal with.

We have now been advised by the Environment Agency of their programme for this summers weed cutting in the Land Yeo. Weed growth in the river on the Tickenham side of the motorway, should be cleared by machines next week.

The town section of the river from the Medical Centre to Strode road is badly affected by weed growth and apart from South Clevedon Playing Fields machine access is not possible. Preparations are being made for this section to be cleared manually by contractors and weed removal should start in about 2 weeks time.

June 2014

EXCEPTIONAL WEED GROWTH

Following the mild winter we have been increasingly concerned about the growth of watercress in the Land Yeo this year.

The recent period of warm weather has resulted in exceptionally rapid growth for this time of the year, especially near Court Lane. Several parts of the river are affected, however the worst section is about 100 metres long and it is so dense it is holding back the flow of water. The water level has dropped 2 to 3 “ in the town, with a reduction in the flow, more of the water will instead be flowing into the Yearling Ditch.

The Environment Agency are aware of the situation and will hopefully be able to clear the weed soon, normally weed cutting would not take place until August.

Watercress

Watercress near Court Lane

Update

We were  pleasantly surprised when the EA turned up on Friday 27th June  and started the weed cutting. They have cleared where the machine would reach, but as you will see from photo below they have had to leave some, they have said they will come back and finish clearing it.

Cooks Clyse has been kept high for the time being (4.9 mtr) and despite weed still spanning the river, level and flow here much improved.

 Cutting Cleared

April 2014.

Chairman acts as news reporter – Friends of Land Yeo

March 2014.

Controlling the Levels (Liam Fox MP reports on the flood control on the North Somerset levels)

January 14th 2014.

Recent weather events, storm surges with high wind and driving rain, have highlighted the importance of several factors concerning our river and others!

1 Keeping culverts free of obstructions.

2 Removing weed, rubbish and other debris.

3 Keeping trash screens clear, (otherwise they will cause similar problems to blocked     culverts).

4 De-silting.

5 Keeping rhynes and ditches clear.

6 Clearing drains.

Many of the problems in our area have been due to surface water, and The Land Yeo, (along with the Blind Yeo and other local rivers) provides a great deal of drainage. However their pathway to the sea can be blocked when the tide level rises above the river levels at the Land Yeo outfall. This rise can be as much as 4 metres for periods of up to 4 hours on high, spring tides. River levels, the effect of waves and atmospheric pressure can also have an effect. To reduce the risk of flooding, river levels are carefully managed by the Environment Agency. Typically levels are dropped in order to increase river capacity before ‘tide locking’ and heavy rainfall are expected.

Without the Land Yeo Friends, keeping an eye on levels and flow, and removing obstructions, the exceptionally bad weather may well have caused some flooding in parts of Clevedon!

David Robinson/Stewart Edwards.

Trapped Swan 2013

One of last years signets managed to paddle its way from the back of the Cinema all the way through the culvert under Morrisons car park and Queens Square to end up trapped behind the trash screen by the Conservative Club.It was spotted behind the screen early on Monday (14/1) and was released on Tuesday (15/1) by NSC contractors who removed one of the top gratings, it was then captured and carried out by one of Secret Worlds volunteers.

Apparently swans are not normally very adventurous and it it is very unusual for them to enter something like a culvert. Martin from Secret World mentioned previous visits to Clevedon to rescue signets being attacked by the adults, apparently this happens if the signet is a male and it is chased off by the adult male. So this could be a possible explanation, the signet fled into the culvert to escape the adult male.

A member of staff from NSC Flood Risk section (they are responsible for the trash screen) was also present and it was suggested to him something should be put across the other end to prevent a re occurrence.

The signet has been taken back to Secret World to be checked over and will probably be released on the Somerset levels well away from the Motorway.

Swan Rescue

Swan Rescue

As reported in Clevedon People 

River improvement

The pictures below highlight how important it is to keep the river as clear as possible not just of rubbish but of trees also.

The first picture was taken 11/1/2011 and the second from the same spot 11/1/2013.

Willow growing in the river  near to the Scouts hut

Willow growing in the river near to the Scouts hut

Clear river

Same spot 2 years later

New Years Day 2013

This picture, taken from the junction of Court Land and Tickenham Road (Castlewood is to the rear on the right), was taken by Stewart to show one of the many flooded fields around Clevedon and in his own words “I have not seen anything like this in the thirty years that I have lived here”

Flooding

It also serves as a permanent record of just how much rain we had in 2012. The year that started with the news that “It’s been the driest summer and winter we have had in years and if we don’t have rain soon there will be a hosepipe ban and we will heading towards a  drought”

July 2012

PRESS RELEASE 

Not published – condensed item raised in the North Somerset Times paper not on their web page

Combating Flooding in Clevedon 2.

The final tool in flood prevention has at last been installed on the Land Yeo River, in Clevedon.

On Tuesday, 24th July a professional, ‘tailor-made’, steel Trash Screen, was fitted on the mouth of the Queen’s Square culvert, adjacent to the Conservative Club.

‘Kingcombe  Aquacare’ of Crewkerne were the experienced firm of contractors, who installed the screen on behalf of North Somerset Council.

Since several lorry loads of debris, which was lodged under Queen’s Square, was cleared in November 2009 by the Environment Agency and Contractors, North Somerset Council installed a temporary screen, which has been effective in keeping larger items of rubbish from entering the culvert.

The new screen has been designed to facilitate easier clearing of rubbish, and should therefore be effective in helping maintain a clean, flowing, river, thereby reducing the risk of flooding and making the Land Yeo aesthetically pleasing, and an asset to Clevedon.

North Somerset Times  – 3rd letter down

April 2012

Press report on our £150 award

March 2012

Events of recent months have added to the quality, depth and flow rate of the Land Yeo River. Culverts have been cleared, and a de-silting operation has been carried out by the Environment Agency upstream of the town. In the last few years the culvert under Queen’s Square has been cleared, and a large willow tree removed, which was hugely obstructing flow. As a result of all these improvements, the winter flow rate through the town has been the best for many years, and the significant increase can be seen tumbling out of the outfall at the Pill.

All being well, when the summer levels return at the beginning of April our river should be in fine fettle, enhancing the look of the town and better accommodating its burgeoning wildlife.

We have recently been awarded a grant from The Conservation Foundation (David Bellamy’s Organisation) and Wessex Water to enable us to buy a pressure washer for cleaning down after river clearing.

David Robinson (LYF)

Otter Meeting

January 2012

Horsecastle Chapel Yatton 7.30 Tuesday January 24th   .

There was a very good turnout at this meeting, proving that there is a good local contingent of people of all ages, deeply concerned about our environment and biodiversity.

The leader of the Somerset Otter Group, James Williams, who gave the talk, is a very knowledgeable, wise and eloquent speaker, with that positive added ingredient of having a good, dry sense of humour.

He has been following the ups and downs of this bewitching animal since he was a lad in the Lake District, and is now doing a hugely valuable job in our County of Somerset.

As you probably know the otter made a significant comeback into our area of North Somerset in the 1980’s after a long absence, but their return is still fraught with difficulties, many due to a great lack of knowledge about this animal.

Many anglers believe that the otter takes huge amounts of fish from our water courses, this is far from true, as sightings of otters, and their spraints and footprints show that the population is still very small in spite of the fact that individuals can travel quite a distance in rivers.

Other problems concerning our Otter population are pollution of the water table, in particular PCB’s which remain for a long time, also shorter term pollutants such as DDT and Dieldrin.

One of the main worries at the moment is the ‘Bile fluke’ which invades host snails, in turn eaten by fish and eventually end up in mammals where they damage the gall bladder and liver, eventually killing the animal.

Road kills also take their toll and much is needed to be done to ensure that this does not happen.

The otter is at the top of the food chain in our waterways, and those who have knowledge of biodiversity will realise its importance to our planet. If we don’t conserve the Otter we are ultimately destroying ourselves.

YACWAG  (Yatton & Congresbury Wildlife Action Group) are looking for volunteers who can spend some time to be trained in Otter recording, and can then go with their wellies and walking sticks, expertise, and dogged determination and help to conserve this beautiful animal.

www.yacwag.org.uk

or ring Win Lowman on 01934 833596.

                I hope some of the members of the Land Yeo Friends will be in a position to take up the challenge!

David Robinson.

December 2011

We are pleased to say work has now started today (12th) on removing the silt in the Land Yeo from the Yearling Ditch to 100 mtrs down stream of Court Lane. This should now pave the way for the culvert to be cleared under Tyres Direct and Shoplands Timber Yard which should also be completed before the end of next month. Once completed all known restrictions to flow in the town section will have been removed and hopefully we can all expect an improvement in the water quality and flow, especially after April when we are back on the summer levels. 

Looking upstream with the motorway behind you, the bridge in the back ground is close to the junction with the Yearling Ditch

 August 2011

From the Bristol Evening post 10/8/2011

A VOLUNTARY group in Clevedon which cares for the Land Yeo River, is appealing for financial help to enable them to buy a trailer.

The Land Yeo Friends have carried out a number of environmental enhancements to the river including clearing it of rubbish and removing the build up of weed downstream in the Marshall’s Field area. Earlier in the year the Environment Agency along with private contractors cleared the culvert under Queens Square as well as removing a willow tree overhanging the banks.

Up until now, one of the volunteers has lent the group a trailer, but after years of use a new one is needed. The group is now appealing for local businesses and residents to donate money to help them raise the £800 needed for a new trailer.

Land Yeo Friends chairman, David Robinson, said: “As a voluntary group we do rely on the benevolence of our members and one of them has provided his car and two trailers for many years.

One trailer has not stood up well to the extra use and the suspension now needs renewing and it is looking pretty battered. We clearly need to have a larger, sturdier trailer as soon as possible.”

The group bought an aluminium work boat last year – partly funded by Clevedon Chamber of Commerce – to make it easier to get to fairly inaccessible parts of the river. So far the Land Yeo Friends has secured £100 from the town’s rotary club and £150 from Clevedon Town Council towards the cost of a new trailer.

Mr Robinson said: “Some of the money will come from our own funds, which come in sporadically from benefactors, from stalls promoting the group and from talks we do. But we are appealing to organisations and companies out there to help us with a cash donation.” Anyone wanting to help can log on to the website, www.landyeofriends.org.


Tuesday September 27th we collected our new Ifor Williams trailer from Boulter Mead of Bridgwater. The trailer has been adapted to suit our needs and will adequately carry our boat, plus rubbish removed from the river, the total cost of the adapted trailer was £840.

On behalf of our new Chairperson Jackie Tait, and The Land Yeo Friends, we would like to thank all the press and media that helped us in our appeal, and especially thank all those organisations, local businesses, riparian owners and private individuals who supported us with donations, namely :-

Clevedon Town Council

The Rotary Club of Clevedon

Clevedon Lions

Leslie Dark

Alastair Brawley, Thelma Dawber and Pam Soper.

Clearing the river will now be an easier job for all our volunteers.

North Somerset report on the purchase of the trailer 

May 2005

Clevedon Town News Letter Sea Defenses 

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2 Responses to News

  1. Liz musto says:

    Were you aware of the mussel shells you pulled out with the weeds and can you confirm we have fresh water mussles in the land yeo

    • brunfag says:

      The Environmental Agency drag the weed out of the river as part of their annual maintenance of the water course. My LYF colleagues tell me that they have previously seen fresh water mussel shells alongside the Yearling Ditch, east of the motorway, post EA clearance . The Yearling Ditch is the waterway that connects the Land Yeo and the Blind Yeo just east of the motorway. Water quality in the Land Yeo through the town and down to Marshalls Field has been gradually improving over the last ten years or so. So perhaps the appearance of shells lower down the river reflects this improvement in water quality.

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