Thursday, 27 June 2013

Regular rangers update

By Adrian Vernon, Head of Ranger Services

Several incidents have kept our rangers busy over the past week, one of which was probably the biggest chunk of wood recovered from the river in a long time.

When rangers talk of having recovered “huge” bits of wood from the river I tend to take it with a pinch of salt. But this picture speaks a thousand words, showing a two-tonne specimen which required equipment to drag it out.

Rangers on Breydon Water had an eventful night when a boat grounded with six adults and a baby on board on the falling tide.

Our patrol boat the Spirit of Breydon went out but it was clear the boat was going nowhere until the middle of the night when the tide allowed. But Spirit of Breydon stayed with them until the craft had fully settled. They were eventually towed away and secured at the Berney Arms just after midnight.

Another boat was found worrying low in the water. Rangers informed the owner, who a few days later called to thank them. His fresh water tank had burst and emptied into the bilge, unfortunately just enough to level above the floor and soak the carpeting.

Update on the River Chet

By Adrian Clarke, Senior Waterways and Recreation Officer

Dredging of the River Chet is a priority for the Broads Authority but we have to wait until the Environment Agency completes flood defence work on the south bank.

This is now in progress after planning permission was granted and it is anticipated that the earth works will take approximately 12 months to carry out.

After this time the old piling will be removed and we can immediately start dredging operations from Nogdam End upstream to Loddon to reinstate the depth required in the Sediment Management Strategy.

Meanwhile to improve the situation the Broads Authority has replaced the weir structure that controlled tidal flow into Hardley Flood, rather than upstream to Loddon and feedback from local boatyard businesses is that water levels at Loddon have increased by 12 to 18 inches at low water.

We really do treat this as both a serious issue and a high priority and will be carrying out further works as soon as it is safe to do so.