Reply from Environment Agency to a request on information on the River Bure Maintenance Policy and Schedule  from Coltishall/Horstead Lock to Mayton

Below extract from a letter and specifications from the EA received by the Parish Council.
Our thanks go to Mr Dafydd Evans Area Manager Eastern for the detailed reply the Parish Council  under their ref          CCE/2009/41251 Date              9 October 2009


Thank you for your letter of 21 September 2009, raising concerns over the condition of the River Bure between Coltishall and Mayton. I am sorry to learn that you have contacted us on numerous occasions and have not received a satisfactory response.
The river lengths you refer to are maintained annually and our machinery is currently on site on the amenity grounds upstream of Horstead Mill Locks.
The annual weed cutting maintenance programme commenced in early July this year, working from Horstead mill upstream to Ingworth. The second cut in late September targeted the most heavily vegetated areas and these works will be complete by mid October.
I have enclosed a copy of our weed cutting specification for your information. The standards we implement are based on the need to reduce the risk of flooding to people and property whilst ensuring that we minimise any adverse environmental impact to the river. You will see from the plan view, our boats cut a meandering coarse along the river corridor leaving vegetation growing on the fringes. There are a number of reasons for doing this. During the summer months the river flows reduce such that where the river is wider, silt in suspension becomes deposited on the river bed. This results in shoals building up in some locations. Over time, this will increase the risk of flooding, hence our need for maintenance intervention. By leaving some vegetation it has the effect of narrowing the channel thus increasing the speed of flow and leaving a cleaner silt free river. This also helps to improve oxygen levels which are beneficial for the river as a fishery.

It is not our intention to return to the old custom and practise of dredging the river and over-widening the channel for the reasons stated above.

However, to encourage the river to develop in a more sustainable way we have identified some improvement works including targeted desilting and selective tree removal. We will be working from Pile Bridge at Buxton downstream towards Coltishall.

This work has been programmed to Eastern Area - Iceni House

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