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WORKING SESSIONS 2024      2023      2022      2021      2020      2019      2018      2017      2016      2015      2014      2013      2012      2011      2010      2009      2008

We are again planning to carry out some regular maintenance in and around East and West Hanney this year. We plan to work from 09:00 until noon, and as usual, the location will depend upon what needs to be done. Please add these dates to your diaries. It would be great if everyone could do at least one session during the year as it then spreads the load out.
*** Venue and work details will be advised each month by email to subscribers of our E-newsletter ***

We are looking for volunteers to organise each weekend, so please contact us via the contact form or email Clive Manvell: or call 01235 868216; 0796 4144 109.


Saturday 17th of August
Details to follow nearer the date.

Saturday 20th of July
Despite the overcast and humid weather, we had 22 volunteers gainfully deployed on Saturday morning. Who needs a gym when you have the flood group?
8 volunteers tackled some important village drainage issues. Split 4 + 4 into two working parties one team completed the drain rodding along with silt, litter and other debris removal from the covered culvert and roadside gullies at the eastern end of the Causeway and HWM entrance which we started last month. The other party cleared a way into the heavily overgrown culvert entrance and surveyed the complete Summertown road looking for any serious obstructions in the ditch either side of the road. The ditches are overgrown with weeds and hedges but all seemed to be clear and no major concern but this needs to be reviewed once all the undergrowth has died down. Not much evidence of water flowing from the south ditch through the culvert under the road into the stream running north.

These two teams came together to rod the 40 metre culvert under the corner of Summertown which needed careful and professional traffic control set up by Ian and Dickon which is essential on this blind corner with traffic reasonably busy. Two barrow loads of silt were removed from the Causeway working party and from the culvert under Summertown. The culvert was left running slightly faster after removing some minor roots that had found their way in about 30 metres in. The ditch was cleared back that runs into the metal grid by Eastways and gullies cleared on the corner with a full sack of beer cans and other rubbish collected from Summertown road. Helen’s cake was greatly appreciated and all equipment cleaned and back in the Hut for midday. Special thanks to David for organising and leading this working party.
A lot of hard work done here by David S, Ian G, Dickon G, David B, Paul S, Jason K, Mick M and Richard P.

The other 14 volunteers this morning met in Ebbs Lane to clear the invasive Himalayan Balsam from Letcombe Brook where it runs north from the village alongside the paddocks of Willowbarn. Paul D had surveyed the Brook and reported that our hard work in the past few years has paid off as there were only 4 or 5 pockets of balsam on the eastern banks and much larger and lengthy stands on the west banks . We had finished clearing the eastern bank and stopped for a break about 10.30. Fortified by Helens cake the 5 of us wearing waders carried on clearing HB from the west bank where it was prolific in places. Special thanks to Paul for allowing and enabling access to his paddocks alongside the Brook. Jude spotted plenty of signs here that the water voles are doing well.
Hard work again from Jude V, Jim T, Jane T, Paul D, Lamorna Z, Tim G, Peter M, Phil M, Keith C, Meryl C, Andrew W, Alastair J, Adrian B and Clive M.

Saturday 15th of June
Very mixed weather greeted the volunteers this week with a cold wind, heavy rain, drizzle and sunshine all thrown at us. Despite this metrological melange we achieved our main tasks for the day.

Phil, Mick and Richard C removed all the visible Himalayan Balsam from the west bank of the Brook from the sewage pipe to a convenient halfway point. Interesting to note that some of the HB has begun flowering already whilst there are still plenty of seedlings springing up. Thank you to all of them working in and around the Brook.

Keith C and Clive M completed the survey in and around the new bridge at Lower Mill. Keith is now collating and reviewing the data. Thanks Keith and Clive M.

David S, Andrew, Keith R, Jason, Peter Mle, Ian, Dickon and Clive M cleared the very congested gullies and culverts along the Causeway towards HWMH removing barrow loads of silt, grit, vegetation and litter from this important drainage system. There is a small section to finish on another occasion. Two road gullies just to the west of Cow Lane were found to be completely blocked. The iron gratings were sealed by tarmac, one of them was even upside down. It appears that it has been quite some time since these were cleared out. Three wheelbarrow loads of silt, clay and gravel washed out from Cow Lane were removed from these two gullies alone. The gulley on the south side appeared to be connected to the ditch that runs along the south side of the raised pavement towards West Hanney. The culvert is still full of compacted clay and the bottom of the ditch to which it is supposed to drain appears higher than the input opening. Thank you also to Peter and Jason for helping David and Clive clean and oil all the equipment used on Saturday, quite a task. Phil has managed to wash the filthy Hi-Viz vests and they are ready for the next working party.

All the volunteers were grateful for the enjoyable blueberry muffins freshly baked by Helen S, the hot tea and coffee Andrew conjured up for the Causeway team and for the road signs and cones that Ian and Dickon deployed along the Causeway to keep the workforce safe and the traffic flowing.

Saturday 18th of May
Both teams enjoyed the dry morning warm weather and occasional sunshine to complete this months tasks.
The West Hanney Team successfully cleared the road gullies of the former Headings Pond which have been sealed by heavy vehicles damaging the verges forcing mud into the openings. They were also able to reconnect the two culverts and the corresponding sump by drain rodding the lengthy pipework. One blockage needed rodding from the exit end over the drainage ditch as it was sealed by a combination of very thick, smelly mud and tree roots. Thank you to Paul for leading the team and washing the equipment, Ian, Dickon, Tim, Richard and Peter for this mornings strenuous efforts. It appears these culverts need regular clearing and the roadside gullies almost constant attention. Some thought could be given to protecting the verges and reducing the damage to the edges.

The East Hanney Team also had a successful morning removing some fallen trees and brambles from Letcombe Brook behind Brookside, above and below Lower Mill. Thank you to David, Mick, Andrew, Adam, Clive F and Clive M.

Both teams enjoyed the lovely cakes provided by Helen S, thanks Helen.
The River Fly Monitoring Team have finally been able to get back into the water this month after prolonged periods of fast currents and high water levels. Pleased to report the results were good. Thank you Phil and Stella.
The invasive Himalayan Balsam has started germinating again and Phil M removed 50 or more plants from around Lower Mill and one from behind Brookside. If you see it, please pull it up.

Saturday 20th of April
Thirteen volunteers turned out in beautiful spring sunshine to remove a fallen tree from Letcombe Brook in the stretch that runs north from Philberds Manor. The tree was collecting litter and other debris and obstructing the flow. Adjacent brambles and other vegetation were removed opening this area to more light, benefitting wildlife in this area.
Special thanks again to Helen for the coffee and walnut cake and Ian and Dickon for towing the trailer. Very pleased to say a warm welcome to Jude the new LB Project Manager who joined us and mucked in with todays project.
Volunteers today were Jude V, Andrew W, Peter M-S, Peter M, David S, Keith C, Ian G, Dickon G, David B, Richard C, Jason K, Adam B, Clive M.

Saturday 16th of March
The team of seventeen volunteers were able to focus on the grips, gullies, drains, ditches and culverts from St James the Less, along The Green, Ebbs Lane to Gods Ditch to improve the drainage and reducing the surface water in this part of East Hanney. Road gullies which had been cleared in the autumn were again full of leaves, silt and other debris. These were cleared and, in many cases, drain rods were used to clear away solid built-up silt and to cut tree roots in the gullies and culverts. Grips were re-established just past The Green enabling the road surface water to instantly drain away into the ditch.
The ditches in Ebbs Lane were cleared of reeds and other blockages, grips re-established and culverts drain rodded. The diagonal culvert half-way down Ebbs Lane appears to have a blockage issue but a path for water to drain away was re-established. Small branches and other debris were cleared from the first part of Gods Ditch. Sincere apologies to the land owner who was unaware of the plan yesterday and of the need to keep this major village drainage channel as free flowing as possible, taking as it does, much of the water flowing around East Hanney and the water draining from roads and other hard surfaces into Letcombe Brook to the north of the village.
We enjoyed a very welcome break with Helen for tea, coffee, biscuits and cheese scones this week – thank you Helen.
Other thanks are due to Phil for washing the Hi-Viz vests again, Ian and Dickon for deploying additional traffic signs and cones to keep us safe.

And thank you to the volunteers who turned out Stewart S, Richard C, David S, Peter M, Ian G, Dickon G, Paul S, Keith R, Tim G, Andrew W, Lamorna Z, Phil M, Adam B, Mick M, Alaistair J, Owen M and Clive M. We achieved rather a lot.

Community Woodland Working Party Saturday 23rd March, contact Paul Sayers,
Village Litter Pick also Saturday 23rd March, see Hanney News for details.

Saturday 17th of February
We had a good turnout this morning of nearly 20 volunteers including two walk-ins keen to help. Timing meant we could only continue the work started in December on the many blocked gullies and culverts at the western end on West Hanney Main Street. This included a number of gullies in the Meads and those around Headings pond in Church Street where further work is needed. All gullies and culverts that we cleared of debris. Mainly silt and tree roots urgently need flushing through by contractors with jet washers and we encourage WHPC to get this done as soon as possible.
Many thanks to Ian and Dickon for the additional safety cones and signage, Helen Smith for another excellent and very welcome cake, Phil for washing all the Hi-Viz vests again and all those other volunteers whom we hope we made a note of: Paul S, Richard C, Owen M, Ian G, Dickon G, Mick M, Peter M-S, Keith C, Lamorna Z, Phil M, David S, Richard P, Alaistair J, David B, Tim G, Julian and Clive M.
There is a Community Woodland Working Party 24th February which Paul Sayers is organising for details.
There is a planning application for the fish pass around Dandridges Mill P24/V0159/FUL if anyone wishes to see it or comment on. Time is short for responses.

January 2024
No January Working Party.

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Himalayan balsam

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