Monday, 3 February 2014

Broads Control update - Busy time for ranger team

By Adrian Vernon, Head of Ranger Services

Winter used to be a quieter time but these days rangers and their managers are busier than ever. We are advanced in our preparation for the summer season in relation to staffing and equipment.

The sale of the launches continues with a deadline of 21st March and we have just advertised the tender process for a new refit for four launches starting in November 2014.There have been some minor staff changes and Rob Hanger who was with us for two seasons as a seasonal ranger has obtained a full-time job in his chosen career. His post has already been filled.

On Saturday (25 Jan) the low tide was so low that we couldn’t get the launch out of the shed at Thorpe. This only happens about once in 10 years and is rather ironic as many parts of the country have too much water. The rangers continued to patrol by vehicle and two launches were out training staff and volunteers.

A great deal of tree work was undertaken by the rangers and volunteers during the week mainly on the Yare, Thurne and Neatishead. Rangers have also been cutting osier beds on our land at Potter Heigham. 

The Waveney team were in the office for part of the week working on their area plan. This is a working document that shows all that they propose to undertake in the area for the coming year. It also shows staff availability, our landholdings and agreements, patrol targets, events , education and community involvement commitments. An essential part of the team are the volunteers and the plan also includes their recruitment, training and tasking. 

The Thurne rangers did a scheduled patrol with the police and the EA Fisheries enforcement officer. The EA inspector found two people fishing with expired licences and the ranger had to deal with two anglers for registration offences. One had not registered his vessel and the other had purchased a rowing boat toll and was using the vessel with an outboard motor.

Three cases were heard at Great Yarmouth Magistrates Court with all the persons summoned pleading guilty. Fines vary according to the seriousness of the case and the means of the offender. One case involved a vessel travelling fast at night without navigation lights on the Lower Waveney. Fines and costs totalled £225. The second case involved a fast private cruiser at high speed near Cantley. Fines and costs totalled £865. The last case involved six offences over two incidents on the Lower Waveney. Fines and costs amounted to over £1000.

Two rangers attended the Anglia Afloat Boat Show at Oulton Broad on Saturday and enjoyed chatting to boaters and answering their questions.

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