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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.
*** 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 Stewart Scott on 01235 868503 or via the contact form.

> Saturday 15th of December
Well it warmed up a little and stayed dry initially for today’s working party clearing ivy, overhanging branches and removing several self-sown saplings along the stretch of the Brook behind Brookside. Thanks to Keith, Steph, Paul, Adrian, Oliver, Mark, Jane, Jim and Clive who put in a good shift here and managed to get warm and stay warm throughout the morning. It got quite warm in the waders too!
Ian, Dickon, David, Gill, Stewart and Myfanwy gave Guy (EHPC) assistance in shifting three tons of gravel topping up the footpath between the Iron Bridge and Berry Lane. Again, warm work and achieved quickly and efficiently. This should keep the mud and puddles covered over for some time.
Many thanks to David for the bacon butties, Anne for the cups of tea and Phil for the mince pies.
Just want to take the opportunity to thank everyone who has volunteered this year for turning out and helping to improve Letcombe Brook and the environment around it, for tacking the Himalayan Balsam through the summer and for removing the large fallen willows when needed. Through the winter months the village needs to keep its ditches clear and free from obstructions, so please keep an eye on this and encourage the householders and landowners to do this.

> Saturday 17th of November
Great turn out this morning 15 volunteers and warm winter sunshine.
David Stubbington led a crack team at the British Legion reducing the number of reeds hindering the flow of water, cut back areas of Rosebay Willowherb, tidied up a number of rocks, cutback a number of overhanging branches along the Brook as far as the Iron Bridge, as well as removing a large collection of litter. Thank you to David S, David B, Gill and Steph.

The other team tackled more willow trees that had fallen across the Brook and had already impeded the flow of water away from the village. As well as the willows there was another tree heavily covered by ivy which had reduced the width of the Brook to less than half. All these obstructions had collected large amounts of leaves, twigs, branches and litter including yet another football. Another great team effort by Ian, Dickon, Keith, Paul S, Lamorna, Clive F, Bob, James, Jane, Phil and Clive M.
Thank you to Ian and Dickon for towing the trailer to Ebbs Lane.

Photographs:   [View photo 1]   [View photo 2]   [View photo 3]   [View photo 4]   [View photo 5]   [View photo 6]   [View photo 7]   [View photo 8]   [View photo 9]   [View photo 10]   [View photo 11]

> Saturday 20th of October
What a good morning we had, and I am not just talking about the weather, although that was pretty good too - mist giving way to hot sunshine. A big thank you to the 16 volunteers who turned out to remove two trees which had fallen across Letcombe Brook in recent weeks and had begun to block the flow of water. We also discovered that two of the three pipes to the by-pass were becoming choked by the debris caught up in the fallen trees, so a timely intervention.
Thanks then to the team of Mark, Adrian, Steph, Phil, James, David S, Stewart, Paul, Ian, Dickon, Keith, Meryl, Meurig, Jackie, Alan and Clive.

Mark, Letcombe Brook Project Manager, offered an explanation about the fluctuating water levels recently in the Brook. There has been a fault at the augmentation pumping station which tops up the flow of water in the Brook from Childrey. The pump has been on and off recently trying to repair it. Currently it is turned off as further repairs are needed. It is interesting to see the levels now as nobody really knows what the natural Brook levels are. In 2020 augmentation will cease and, at the same time, extraction from Letcombe Brook will stop.

I mentioned the planning application currently with the VOWH for a new store for our equipment. The planning application number is P18/V2538/FUL [LINK] .    The Hanneys Flood Group would be grateful if you could go on-line on the VOWH Planning website and pen a few comments supporting this application. The building will be located behind the tennis courts adjacent to The Hanney War Memorial Hall. Thanks again for a great team effort this morning - we do make a difference.

Photographs:   [View photo 1]   [View photo 2]   [View photo 3]   [View photo 4]   [View photo 5]   [View photo 6]

> Saturday 15th of September
A good hard mornings work completed in near perfect weather conditions, not too hot and more importantly dry. The team of Lamora, Gill, Mark, Stella, Ian, Dickon, Keith Meryl and David S cleared some 250 metres of Letcombe Brook up stream of Weir Farm removing overhanging branches brambles and general detritus thus opening up a lot of brook to sunlight which we are assured will improve its biodiversity and general well being. Although a bit early as a result of todays work, Mark identified a Stone loach apparently pretty rare (protected) and the first one he has seen in Letcombe Brook, this was of course between sawing branches and chatting to a lone Roe Deer that got very close to him.
The Brook is most definitely improving with gravel beds becoming more and more prominent as the water flows faster and faster removing the silt as part of the process.
Always more to do which will be tackled at other flood group sessions but in the meantime a big thank you for todays volunteers and please do not forget to visit the Flood Group stand at the Michaelmas Fayre on the 22nd Sept and keep an eye out for HFG being one of the good causes that Waitrose may want to provide a grant (yet to be confirmed) for via their Green token at the check out process.

> Saturday 18th of August
Great turn out this mild and dry morning of 17 volunteers. We split into 3 groups clearing overhanging vegetation from three areas of Letcombe Brook, with one team tidying up the area behind Brookside from the Iron Bridge towards the British Legion, one team headed south of Weir Farm and removed several dams and other debris and the third team opening up an area of the Brook to more daylight and removing a significant blockage of tangled willow branches and roots closer to Weir Farm.
The volunteers were David S, Jim, Jane, Ian, Dickon, Lamorna, Stella, Guy, Myfanwy, Steph, Adrian, Keith, Meryl, Clive F, David B, Phil and Clive M.

> Saturday 21st of July
The working party achieved a lot - one willow branch was removed from the Brook, two fallen trees obstructing the Lower Mill by-pass were removed along with brambles, nettles and other debris clogging up this important channel. A large amount of Himalayan Balsam was also removed from around Lower Mill and again large amounts were removed further downstream of Lower Mill.
Special thanks to Ian and Dickon for hauling the trailer round and to Stewart, Lamorna, Steph, Myfanwy, Keith, Meryl, Paul, David, Gill, Bob, Alastair, Phil and Clive.

> Saturday 16th of June
We had a good session this morning with 11 volunteers, including Mark Bradfield the new Letcombe Brook Project Officer. We continued the clearing of overgrown vegetation and removed Himalayan Balsam from the areas we were working in, opening up areas of the bank to daylight to encourage other plant species to become more established. Mark was impressed with the quality of the Brook along this stretch and with the many signs of wildlife in and around the water course.There is still plenty of Himalayan Balsam left to warrant a further session before it starts to flower and seed.
Many thanks to David Stubbington for using his trailer to ferry tools and waders to the meeting point and to Gill, Jim, Jane, Carleen, Mark, Steph, Lamorna, Ian, David, Phil and Clive.

> Saturday 19th of May
Despite so many other attractions on offer today we managed a turn out of 19 volunteers to get wet and muddy in Letcombe Brook removing the debris that had built up since our last session along this stretch. Good too that a few people were able to hone their skills in spotting and removing the Himalayan Balsam shoots.
So a big thank you to Ian, Dickon, David B, Meryl, Keith, Paul, Stewart,Oliver, Lamorna, Guy, Myfanwy, Clive F, Nigel, Sarah, Steph, Jackie, Meurig, Phil and Clive.

> Saturday 21st of April
A great turnout this morning in very good conditions and a worthwhile project efficiently executed. Many thanks to Ian, Dickon, Carleen, Bob, David S, David B, Guy, Myfanwy, Steph, Oliver, Phil and Clive with a very warm welcome to new volunteer Jane. With the help of Nicky and Pete the fallen tree with its roots was removed from the Brook.
We also removed a significant amount of litter from the banks and water, presumably washed down from Grove, ahead of the village litter pick.
In the last day or so we have found the first signs of the Himalayan Balsam shoots so please keep your eye out for this and remember to pull it out completely, roots and all where you find it growing. Leave it in a tidy heap and it will rot down quickly.

> Saturday 17th of March
Cancelled due to predicted adverse weather conditions.

> Saturday 17th of February
The weather turned out to be fine which enabled Dickon, Ian, Keith, Paul, David and Stewart to get stuck into sorting out the Flood Group trailer and tools contained within, we even managed to give the inside a sweep out and the external sides a wash down. All equipment was unloaded, checked for serviceability, catalogued and repacked having been sharpened / cleaned /oiled as part of the process. The electric winch and petrol shredder were run up and Paul carried out some maintenance on the trailer doors. A shopping and to do list has been created and will be passed to Stewart for further consideration but suffice it to say that it was 3 hours well spent and we should set us up in good order for the coming season.

> Saturday 20th of January
Cancelled due to bad weather.

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Himalayan balsam

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