Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Keep the lows coming across the pond

First day of 2014 and some are entertaining thoughts of a dry January.

Not in this valley,

Well not in a "let's give the liver a lift" kind of a way.


This river is bank high and having a brilliant time of it. The rain that we have had in this past week is having a fantastic impact on a river that only three months ago was down to its bare bones. For the past forty eight hours I have been slowly tweaking open the hatch on the house to let spare water go and prevent any flooding from the Millstream.

In the winter of 2000/2001 we experienced river levels that were deemed to occur once in every hundred years. The fishing hut was surrounded by several inches of water and the island at the bottom of this beat was submerged. In April 2001 the hatch on the house was opened thirty two notches, fully open is forty notches (the chaps who built and installed the hatch in the 1840’s knew what they were about) and as I speak the hatch is open seven notches, a dry twenty four hours will see it closed by two notches while a wet forty eight hours will see it opened by another two. The low pressure systems across the Atlantic can continue to line up and sweep this way for much of January and February. As long as we get a few breaks, and the water is allowed to seep down into the aquifers, all should be well. Problems may occur if the top few feet become saturated leading to an increase in the amount of direct run off, but so far so good.

With a dry January not on the radar in these parts, and encouraged by the lady charged with soothing my pulsing cranial vein, I resolved to make efforts to change in other parts of my life during 2014. This year I am sure that all parties with interests in the chalkstreams will unite to provide these rivers with the protection that they deserve, and all conclusions drawn will be correct on evidence presented,

But then again.

I promise not to get too cross, question the motives of government, the fortitude of their agencies, or the wisdom of those clad in fine fleece and cutting edge walking shoes.

Just stick to the river and its workings, and vastly improve my punctuation. (there's no clever sub-editors here)

This will be the seventh year that I have been chucking out this tosh. What started as a twelve month exercise to remind an addled mind as to what it should be focusing, morphed into a more effective opportunity than angry letters in the angling press to counter some of the flim flam and guff that was being proposed, unopposed on chalkstream management.

I am very grateful to those who have tweeted, facebooked, emailed or conveyed by magical means this written rubbish. Thanks for the messages and comments, both online and off, life is still a mulligatawny, and everyone is entitled to their opinion and thank the stars this river doesn't run through North Korea, as I'd be dust!

Having flunked statistics at A level, numbers are not really my bag, but I am informed by the analytics department that the average number of visits per month to this corner of the interweb in 2013 saw a fifty fold increase on 2008's figure of just over a hundred a month. Which to my mushy mind, is more than we started with....I think

I never knew I had so many relatives,

Happy New Year and thanks again for reading the rubbish that I write.

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