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Working sessions
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.



We are looking for volunteers to organise each weekend, so please contact Stewart Scott on 01235 868503 or via the contact form.

Saturday 8th November
The heavy rain kept off for our morning session at Gallows ham and we were able to do a good lot of work. There is no weed in this section but lots of fallen branches and tree growth impeding flow. We noticed that under the road bridge ( gallows Bridge ) there is a great deal of silt, the section under the road looks like it has a concrete base. The base looks like two high level sections on left and right hand side and a central lower section. The left hand section is exposed concrete but the right hand section is covered in thick mud and the central section is also silted up.
Further downstream the brook does get very narrow and in some parts is only 2 feet wide. We think it needs widening with a digger to improve flow which would help silting up under the bridge.
A big thanks to Guy, Myfanwy, Graham, Alan, Paul, Ian, Dickon, Gill, Phil, Clive, Julie, Kath and Stewart. A special thanks to Ian and Dickon for pulling the trailer, Paul for putting up the signs and Graham for doing the chipping. We also had a surprise visit from Iain Brown who was passing, saw our sign up and true to form immediately put on some waders and got stuck in.
This was our last session of the year, so thanks to everyone who has helped in anyway. Particularly Adam who has maintained our web site so efficiently, and Iain and Dickon Green who, I think, have attended every single flood group session. Between us we have done 340 man hours of labour working in both East and West Hanney so even if you did only an hour it all adds up. Well done.

Saturday 11th October
We had a beautiful sunny day to go down and work on an area of the Childrey brook we have not visited before. This is called Vicars Piece and is just upstream of gallows bridge. We had a very nice grass field alongside the brook which made access much easier. We had a good team consisting of Paul, Graham, Phil, Ian, Dickon, Trevor, Kath, Julie, Myfanwy, Stella, Guy, Clive, Gill and Stewart. Everyone did a great job of clearing a lot of brambles and small branches that were clogging up the brook; well done everyone. A special thanks to Ian and Dickon for towing the trailer and to Guy and Myfanwy to transporting and operating our small chipper plus Paul for arranging access and putting up the signs.
Photograph of working group:   [View]

Saturday 6th September
Today we divided into two groups. Ian, Dickon, Myfanwy, Oliver, Alan and Clive worked by the British Legion and thinned out some of the heavy growth of Iris's that was almost blocking the complete stream width. The second team of Peter, Meurig, Trevor, Graham, Guy and Stewart went down stream of lower mill and removed a large willow tree that had fallen and was completely blocking the brook; they also removed some other growth that was impeding flow and two very large tractor tyres. Both teams collected up the usual collection of gin bottles and beer cans. Well done everyone.
Photographs:   [View before]   [View after]

Saturday 9th August
We had another successful morning continuing the work of previous months removing the remaining overhanging branches and brambles upstream of Weir Farm leaving the Brook less liable to collect debris and impede the flow. Once again it was surprising how much litter was collected which has been put for recycling. Many thanks to Ian, Dickon, Alan, David, Paul, David, Graham and Phil.

Saturday 12th July
We returned to Weir Farm and did some more work on the Letcombe brook. We had very pleasant sunshine and did some good working removing a lot of fallen branches and taking out some willow branches that were clogging the brook. Thanks to Oliver, Jill, Guy, Myfanwy, Bob, Alan, Ian, Dickon, Clive, Phillipa, Graham and Stewart. We also collected up rubbish including 25 cans and bottles which have now been sent for recycling.

Saturday 21st June
We had very good weather for our session today up at Weir Farm. The team of Guy, Mafawny, Clive, Phillipa, Ian, Dickon, David, Paul, Nick, Hilary, Graham, Nicky, Alan and Stewart tackled a very large tree that had fallen across the brook.
The excellent two handed saw was used a lot. If there was a scout/ guide badge for the use and knowledge of two handed saws I think we all earned it today.
Cold drinks were provided and the chocolate Waitrose biscuits went down very well, some people claimed they did not have the strength to separate them so had to eat two at a time!
Nicky used her tractor to lift away the large cut sections. We also picked up 86 cans and bottles that had collected under the tree.
We say goodbye to Hilary and Nick who have now exchanged contracts on their house and are moving up to the borders, thanks for all your help it is much appreciated.
Thanks to everyone for a very successful morning.

Saturday 10th May
Despite the expectations of heavy rain we had a completely dry morning. We split into two teams. Team A consisted of Dickon, Trevor, Steve, Mike, Nick and Hilary led by Phil and Clive removed a substantial amount of the invasive weed Himalayan balsam along the Letcombe brook between brook side and Lower mill. They also recovered the barbed wire fence and posts that were in the brook just down stream of the iron footbridge.
Team B consisting of David, Jason, David, Ian and Stewart went off to west Hanney with a brand new 4foot long two man logging saw. There the had a very successful go at the fallen poplar tree that is lying across the brook. The tree consists of three substantial trunks coming from one root system. The saw worked extremely well and using the wedges were able to make 6 cuts in the trunks which were about 14 inches in diameter. It is not finished but we proved that with a good saw and practice large fallen trees can be tackled without a chain saw.
Nicholas box one of our active flood group members has a display of his landscape photographs at the Ardington Art exhibition which end next Sunday. He and Hilary are hoping to move to Berwick soon. If you have moved before we meet again thanks to both of you for all your help with the flood group it is much appreciated.

Saturday 26th April
Despite the recent unsettled weather we had a warm and dry morning for our work on the childrey brook. Over the winter many trees have fallen and we were able to pull out a lot of the smaller trees and cut them up and made two very nice wood piles. We hope the wood piles will become homes to insects and fungi etc.
There is one very large tree that is blocking the brook and it consists of three trunks each about 2-3 foot in diameter. We did have a go at one of these with our two handed saws and did cut through one after some effort! There does seem to be a technique required for this and I think with some practice we could improve and with a sharper and non rusty saw with larger handles we could get better.
We had a short break with some Jaffa cakes and then finished at 11:30. Thanks to David, Paul, Gill, Guy, Mafawny, Trevor, Nick, Hilary, Stewart, Ian and Dickon. A special thanks to Ian for towing the trailer over very difficult ground and for Paul for checking for nesting birds and water voles before we started work.    [View photo]

Saturday 8th March
Thanks to everyone who came. In fact there were 17 of us at one stage. By noon we had removed three major blockages down stream of lower mill. The last was quite a difficult tangled mess of tree branches, thick ivy and brambles; well done. It was really great to see so many people, and we had not expected so many to come so perhaps was not as well organised as would be ideal. We apologise if you felt that you were not used as effectively as you would like. For the next session it would be great if you could let us know you are coming and then we could better plan the activities so we can have multiple teams with a designated leader. Paul took some good photos and has put them on a CD and this is now being circulated. The environment agency produce a monthly report on river flows and rainfall which makes interesting reading. Our area is called West Thames. Please use this link
Thanks to Dave, Paul, Ian, Dickon, Graham, Jackie, Meurig, Gill, Guy, Mafawny, Clive, Philipa, David, Trevor, Nick and Oliver.

Saturday 8th February
Cancelled due to the very high water levels and waterlogged fields.

Saturday 11th January
We had a great turnout to clean our tools and put up the flood gates on the Hanney War Memorial hall. Polo shirts were handed out.

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Letcombe Brook Water Height Measurements:

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