HAPPY NEW YEAR, DAGLINGWORTH!
Flood Alert from the Environment Agency – River Churn and its Tributaries
A Flood Alert has been issued by the Environment Agency.
Flood Alert in force: River Churn and its tributaries.
Flooding is possible for: River Churn from Coberley to Cerney Wick and also The Hilcot Brook, The Daglingworth Stream and The Gumstool Brook.
Property flooding is not currently expected.
River levels are high on the River Churn following Storm Christoph. We are aware of flooding of low-lying land and footpaths, especially in the Cerney Wick area. This alert has been issued because we have had staff in the Cerney Wick area today (22/01/21) who have reported widespread flooding of fields and footpaths. Due to this review, we will be able to provide an improved flood alert service going forward.
A further band of rainfall which may turn to snow or sleet, particularly over higher ground, will pass across the area later this afternoon, 22/01/21, and into this evening before clearing overnight. River levels are now falling, but still pose a flood risk.
We are closely monitoring the situation.
Please remain safe and aware of your local surroundings and avoid contact with flood water.
This message will be updated tomorrow morning, 23/01/21, or as the situation changes.
To check the latest information for your area
* Visit the GOV.UK website to see the current flood warnings, view river and sea levels or check the 5-day flood risk forecast: https://flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/target-area/061WAF02Churn
* Or call Floodline on 0345 988 1188 using quickdial code: 171468.
* Follow @EnvAgency and #floodaware on Twitter.
* Tune into weather, news and travel bulletins on local television and radio.
What you should consider doing now
* Monitor local water levels and weather conditions.
* Get ready to act on your flood plan if you have one.
* Move your car or other vehicles to higher ground, if it is safe to do so.
* Prepare a flood kit of essential items including a torch with spare batteries, mobile phone and charger, warm clothes, home insurance documents, water, food, first aid kit and any prescription medicines or baby care items you may need.
* Check that you know how to turn off your gas, electricity and water mains supplies.
* In rural locations, farmers should consider moving livestock and equipment away from areas likely to flood.
* Avoid walking, cycling or driving through flood water. 30 cm of fast-flowing water can move a car and 6 inches can knock an adult off their feet.
* Flood water is dangerous and may be polluted. Wash your hands thoroughly if you’ve been in contact with it.
Virtual Meeting of CDC – Wed, Jan 20 (Announcement on Instagram)
Virtual Public Meeting with Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown on Flood Resilience
EARTH BUNDS AROUND OVERLEY WOODS AND OTHER AREAS OF CIRENCESTER PARK
A message from Cllr Julia Judd:
I forward this email from PC Ashley Weller and Wendy Gray of Highways concerning the bunds which have been put in place around Overley Wood and other parts of Cirencester Park, as some residents have voiced concerns.
I have also had a response from Highways, who are in full support, and the agent at Cirencester Park, who has assured me that they have already made a great difference and the intention is to seed them in the Spring, hopefully with a sprinkling of some well chosen wildflower mixes in places.
With best wishes
Cllr Julia Judd
Ward Councillor Ermin Ward
Cotswold District Council
Follow me on Facebook @ErminWard – I only post apolitical updates relevant to residents of Ermin Ward
From PC 2249 Ashley Weller:
Dear Councillor Judd,
I am responding to you in regards to some concerns which have been raised in regards to the earth barriers constructed on the Bathurst Estate.
I will give you an overview of why the bunds have been put in place.
In my role as Wildlife and Rural Crime Officer for the Cotswolds, in 2018 I approached Smiths Waste Management with an idea of created earth defences ( bunds) around vulnerable sections of land where there was a propensity for rural criminals to enter the land in their vehicles in pursuit of illegally capturing wildlife. These acts are incredibly cruel and directly target our much loved wildlife. In addition to this the delicate flora is also being damaged as the vehicles illegally race over the private land. Along with Smith’s we developed the idea of using soil from development sites to target harden vulnerable sections of land from vehicular ingress. The scheme is completely free of any charge to the land owner, police or tax payer. The costs are recovered by means of using the soil in bunds rather than sending it to other sites.
So how is the process conducted? When we identify a site which is being targeted by rural criminals we will evaluate each section of land where the bunds are required. When evaluating the land we must consider the following points;
: We must not alter the water course or cause water run-off in to another water course.
: We must not create a water course.
: We must negate damage to habitat and ensure we will be extending the habitat once the bunds are created.
: Have all other options been considered, walls, fences, hedges etc, and if not why not.
: Will we require an archaeological or biodiversity / habitat survey.
: Is planning permission required.
: Will the works impact on the highway land, if so we must consult with them.
To date we have created 23 Km’s of earth bunds around farm land In the Cotswolds. The bunds have created an impenetrable barrier against the ingress of vehicle used in hare coursing, deer poaching / deer coursing and general farm thefts and anti-social driving on farm land. All of the land where these issues were present have seen a 100% reduction in reported cases with not a single reoccurrence. The Bathurst estate was one of the many estates suffering at the hands of the rural criminals. In the early spring through till summer 2020 we had seven cases in which deer had been shot in the most heinous way on the estate. The deer had been shot by poachers and we could see where their vehicles had driven in to the estate using old sections of broken fencing, fallen drystone wall, or just straight in to open fields. We are confident the actual number of deer shot and poached on the estate was much higher, from the volume of vehicle tyre tracks we were seeing. The seven deer we found had been shot in the jaw, upper head, neck and nose but ran off still surviving. We found them days later either dying or dead. We also found multiple sites where deer had been illegally shot and taken in the night.
To add to the dear poaching we had seen a regular occurrence of vehicles entering the estate just for off road driving. This level of driving was causing significant damage to wildlife and their habitat. The estate is home to hundreds of species, a lot of which are on the red and amber list. Tens of acres of wild flower meadows and conservation margins have been introduced or historically maintained by Lord Bathurst and Lord Aspley. For instance some of the species they are trying to protect on the estate and are known to have been impacted by the illegal activities of vehicles on the land, or are merely at threat by their activities are,
Birds Nest Orchids
Great Crested Newts
Badgers and their Setts
Grey / English Partridge
To ignore this issue would be negligent on behalf of the estate and myself as a Rural and Wildlife Crime Officer. Various options had been considered. Fencing was the obvious one. However every time new fencing was erected it was simply cut by the offenders, thus giving them free access again. The fence along the Overley Road had been repeatedly cut and repaired. Hedgerows had been planted, but again until established years later, they are simple driven over, subsequently never allowing the hedge to fully mature. The only option left was drystone walling. Significantly more expensive but more so very time consuming to create and in the time it would take the issues would continue.
The only realistic option left was to create soil bunds around the vulnerable areas of the estate. We had one overarching target, and that was to protect the fauna and flora. We knew the areas in which we were working were not part of the English Heritage listing criteria, as some parts of the estate are grade 1 and 2 listed. The Overley Ride was our closest listed concern. This ride is grade 1 listed under the Parks and Gardens Designation, but far enough away from our bunds not to cause an issue. The next consideration is the historically important Park Pale, and old parish boundary. Again we worked around this as to not disturb its historic value.
When selecting the soil for the bunds it was critical all of the soil was tested by an independent company for chemical contamination and certified as safe by that company. Once the soil was ready the site was assessed. We created the bunds on the boundary line of the estate, being careful not to encroach on to the highway verge and always following the old fence line, thus allowing us to continue without Highways permission, or planning permission as the bunds were under the required planning height. We did however out of courtesy liaise with Highways, as on one occasion to seek their permission to encroach on to their verge, in an effort not to disturb a habitat rich derelict drystone wall. Once we were happy all legal obligations were met, a Government U1 exemption was sought and granted. The U1 exemptions granted were to allow the legal tipping of invert material to specifically construct bunds. Because the U1 was granted, this would in essence be our permission to construct the bunds. I can provide a copy of this consent if required.
The soil used is not screened for debris, as this would add a significant cost to the process, thus making it unviable to provide the material free of charge. However once a bund is constructed, a physical inspection is conducted, where any potential harmful material is removed. For instance, post construction, the bunds on the Bathurst Estate were subjected to a litter pick, where various bits of unwanted material was removed. Bricks and concrete if not protruding are left in the bund, as these after all are a natural material to a large degree, and offer stability to the construction.
A local motorist has expressed concerns around visibility on the bend close to Overley Ride, on the Overley Road. I took images of this bend before and after the bunds, and I can say with no uncertainty the bunds are not impeding the view.
The benefits of these bunds are endless. I’ve attached two images of the same bund in Colesbourne. The images were taken just 6 months apart in 2019. This bund has not had any human intervention and has naturally seeded. You can see from the images this bund has created a new habitat for wildlife, a new sanctuary, and with the added benefit of protecting the wildlife within the boundary of the bund. These images show how spectacular the bunds on the Bathurst Estate could look within just one growing season.
For every 100 square metres of surface area we cover with a bund, we are replacing it with 150 square surface metres of new habitat. That means we’re contributing 50% more wildlife habitat than was previously there, due to the near vertical sides of the bunds and greater surface area.
Along with working in partnership with the Cotswold AONB Grassland Project, who often supply us with native wild flower meadow seeds harvested from the Cotswolds, we are making a significant difference to the countryside. We are offering a heightened level of protection to endangered species which was not previously available. This scheme was created in the Cotswolds and has been delivered to a national conference for all police forces across the UK to consider. From that conference in 2019 5 police forces across the UK have taken this project on board and many more are joining in.
I understand people’s reservations around the bunds when they are in their infancy, as it is undeniable they are not pleasing to the eye, but I guarantee our rural residents that by this new growing season they will be far more pleasing to the eye, blending in to the natural habitat and the benefits to our county’s wildlife will be noticeable.
Already to date we have not had a single vehicle incursion on the estate where the bunds have been created, which therefore has offered a heightened level of protection for the fauna and flora, as well as for walkers on the estate.
I do hope this email has gone some way to allay any concerns you may have. If you have any questions or you would like to have a Skype meeting about these concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Once the Lockdown restrictions have been lifted, I would also be happy to meet with yourself or any others with concerns to show you some sites where the bunds are now established as wildlife havens.
Very kindest regards,
PC 2249 Ashley Weller
Rural Crime Team
Cotswold Local Policing Area; Gloucestershire Constabulary; Cirencester Police Station
Update on Daglingworth Parish Council Meeting
Daglingworth Parish Council will hold a virtual Zoom meeting on 13 Jan, 2021 at 11:00am.
Parishioners are most welcome to join the meeting by visiting the Zoom link below: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/77391272841?pwd=aFRXRGdva2VxK1FoZ2R1SnhTSnk0QT09
Meeting ID: 773 9127 2841
Daglingworth Parish Council Meeting
The next meeting of Daglingworth Parish Council will be held on Wednesday, 13th January 2020, at 11:00am.
We are seeking an Honorary Auditor to check our accounts at the end of each financial year April/May time. If you are prepared to support us by giving a few hours once a year and have accountancy knowledge, please contact Graham – email@example.com
Covid 19: What Help Is Available?
Cotswolds District Council has issued a leaflet that details many types of support available to residents. To access this leaflet, please click HERE.
For information on help with domestic and sexual abuse, please click HERE.
For information on help with mental health issues, please click HERE.