Friday, 24 January 2014

Broads Control update - New launch patrols the Yare

By Adrian Vernon, Head of Ranger Services

The new patrol launch “Martin Broom” has settled into its patrol area on the River Yare. Before it was named it was posted to the Wroxham area but once the name was agreed it was thought appropriate to base it on the Yare where Martin had his office overlooking the river. The launch is based on the “Charles Collier” which many people on the Thurne will know from its patrolling activities at Horsey and Hickling.

This week the rangers have been involved in escorts and general patrolling. Several calls were made by road at the weekend to speak to people regarding registration offences.

Tree work by rangers and volunteers has continued on the river near Whitlingham. Training of new staff and volunteers has also continued and site visits have been conducted with other sections to plan future practical work.

The police contacted us regarding a dinghy containing two suitcases abandoned late at night near Carrow Bridge. The cases were found to contain rubbish and no one was found to own the dinghy.

A weekend Ranger will be at the Anglia Afloat Boat Show at Oulton Broad. Broadsbeat will also be attending. They will be pleased to see you and will try and answer any questions you may have. 

Monday, 20 January 2014

Operations Update

By Rob Rogers, Head of Construction, Maintenance & Environment

Dredging at Hardley Dyke is now complete. The excavator is at Hardley Cross ready to move into the Chet this morning. Dredging will start at Pies Mill.

Silt curtains around Duck Island which were damaged with high tides & winds have now been repaired or replaced. Mud pumping continues  there.

Bure dredging continues with disposal at Broad Farm. Dredging in Upton Dyke begins, with siding casting into a small setback on the right hand side.

Two members of staff will be travelling to Douia in France as part of the EU-funded Prisma project (Promoting Integrated Sediment Management). They will visit the Ecole des Mines University to review European dredging legislation, update on our current projects and discuss the final conference in June with technical representatives from our Dutch, Belgian and French partners.

Norfolk Mills Trust begin replacing rotten timbers on Clay Rack Mill at How Hill this week. Broads Authority maintenance crews are assisting the Trust by moving equipment and timbers to the Mill.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Broads Control update - rangers tackle boat crime

By Adrian Vernon, Head of Ranger Services

The Rangers were busy at the weekend dealing with a spate of boat crimes at Ranworth and Horstead.

Four vessels were broken into at Ranworth and one was sunk by someone removing the stern and the outboard motor. Five vessels were let go and broken into at Horstead and were recovered by the rangers at Belaugh.

The Rangers then assisted the police and the owners. We are working closely with the police to solve these crimes and prevent others.

On Saturday three day boats with young lads from London aboard were stopped for speeding following complaints and given written warnings.

The weekend Rangers underwent a training exercise with the Lowestoft Coastguard Team at Burgh Castle. The training involved recovering people from the water and transporting casualities via a special stretcher. The full-time Breydon team consists of two very public spirited individuals - in their spare time one volunteers for the Coastguard and the other for Norfolk  Fire and Rescue Service.

On Monday two Rangers and two Operation Technicians undertook training in boat handling and night navigation on Breydon Water. This included the use of radar and a plotter plus training in towing and emergency procedures. Much of the towing and man overboard training was undertaken near Breydon Bridge on a strong flood tide which tends to concentrate the mind and add realism to the proceedings.

Tree work by Rangers continues throughout  the system particularly on the Upper Bure  and at Neatishead Staithe.

Four cases went to court this week. All the  defendants pleaded guilty and fines totalling £1,400 were imposed with costs of over £400 awarded. The offences concerned were speeding and care and caution. 

Friday, 10 January 2014

New cafe at Whitlingham Country Park

The Barn Café at Whitlingham Country Park will be opening on Saturday 25 January.

Customers can look forward to a new look and extended menu when the café opens under new management following a revamp.

A competitive tender process was carried out by the Broads Authority which awarded the contract to run the concession to Churchill Catering, a highly experienced company which also operates the cafe at Thetford High Lodge.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Broads Control update - tree work continues

By Adrian Vernon, Head of Ranger Services
This week rangers have been engaged on tree work and patrolling. Several overstaying vessels on our 24 hour moorings have been given written warnings and rangers have been at site meetings and internal discussions regarding future tree and footpath work.

On Monday rangers assisted a works team to recover a broken navigation post in very windy conditions on the Lower Yare.On Tuesday and Thursday escorts were performed for the flood alleviation project from the Haddiscoe depot to Langley Dyke. 

Several rangers have been involved in inquiries relating to prosecutions and tolls offences. 

The new Breydon Ranger David Hemnell has started his byelaw training and will be working towards his exams.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Broads Control Update - fallen trees result in a busy weekend

By Adrian Vernon, Head of Ranger Services

Happy New Year to all!

The weekend was quite busy with some further trees down and the “Sound your horn" sign came loose on Wroxham Bridge. The police had to close the road while this was dealt with.

A boat broke down on the Ant but the owner managed to get to Hunsett Mill and there was an alert for a possibly stolen vessel which had actually been taken away by the owner.

The fallen trees at Carrow Bridge and How Hill were dealt with together with a number of smaller trees at Whitlingham and on the River Ant.

Patrols continued around the system and the first of the winter's thin ice was seen at Womack Water which is one of the first places to freeze in cold weather.