Tag Archives: Environment Agency

Volunteer Opportunities on the River Thames

Thames at Lechlade_DM-012-WM
(Photo credit: Paul Gulliver)

Last year, the Games Makers were lauded as making a tremendous contribution to the success of the Olympics. On the river Thames, volunteers were making a similar impact helping boaters at the 45 locks along its length between Lechlade and Teddington.

The Environment Agency, which is navigation authority for the Thames, is now recruiting for the 2013 season and are looking for volunteers who can commit to assisting at least one day a week between May and the end of September. Volunteers can agree their hours with lock keepers but need to be available at least from 11 to 5.  Volunteers are particularly needed along the river between Reading and Lechlade.  Volunteering is a great way to meet people and to find out more about the Thames, its history, wildlife and management. At the same time volunteers know that they are doing something worthwhile that is really appreciated.
Our Volunteer Assistant Lock Keepers work alongside paid lock keepers. They help boats pass through the lock safely: taking ropes, directing traffic, and operating sluices and lock gates. They help maintain the site: painting, tidying and gardening. They provide information to visitors, be they on foot or afloat, so that they can make the best of their time on the river. Visitors really appreciate the local knowledge that volunteers can provide.
Environment Agency LogoAll applicants are invited to an assessment at a local lock. Here they will have the role explained to them and be shown what it involves in practical terms. They will also be assessed to decide which site may be most appropriate for them and to ensure that they have the physical capabilities required. After successful completion of the assessment, they attend an induction course which focuses on safety and preparing them for the lock side.
On the lock side the volunteers follow a documented training programme before being signed off to take charge of the lock on their own. This will only be for short periods, while the paid keeper is at lunch for example. The volunteers are there to augment the service provided by paid staff rather than to replace them.
Volunteers are provided with some uniform and can claim mileage for travel to and from their lock (subject to a daily maximum). They also receive a monthly newsletter which keeps them in touch with what is going on along the river and other activities of the Environment Agency.
If you would like to find out more about volunteering on the Thames and to receive an information pack and application form, please contact the Volunteer team on 01491 828360 or email thames.volunteers@environment-agency.gov.uk

Flood Alert – 12th July 2012 21:23

A Flood Alert has been issued by the Environment Agency for the River Cole and Dorcan Brook .

Flooding is possible for the River Cole and The Dorcan Brook for the East Swindon Area down to above Buscot Wick .

Low lying land and roads will be affected first.

Be prepared to protect yourself, family, pets and property.

The river and flooding forecast is as follows: Following the recent rainfall, river levels on the River Cole are rising. The river may spill out into the floodplain in the Lower Stratton area. No property flooding is currently expected.
The weather forecast is to expect further showers overnight. Friday will see further showers, some of which may be heavy.

– Prepare a flood kit including a torch, batteries, mobile phone, warm clothes, water, food and any prescription medicines you may need.

– Avoid walking, cycling or driving through flood water.

– Farmers should consider moving livestock and equipment away from areas likely to flood.

– Keep an eye on local water levels and weather conditions. Visit the Environment Agency website http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk for river level and flooding information.

– Call Floodline on 0845 988 1188 using quickdial 171235 for up-to-date flooding information.

Contact

Environment Agency South East
West Thames Flood Warning Duty Officer
Red Kite House,
Howbery Park, Wallingford,
Oxon. OX10 8BD
Floodline 0845 988 1188

Please do not reply to this email. If you want more information about flooding or to stop receiving these emails, please phone Floodline on 0845 988 1188 or log onto Floodline Warnings Direct at http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/floodline.

Environmental Agency warning: River Cole and Dorcan Brook

A Flood Alert has been issued by the Environment Agency for the River Cole and Dorcan Brook  .

Flooding is possible for the River Cole and The Dorcan Brook for the East Swindon Area down to above Buscot Wick this afternoon.

Low lying land and roads will be affected first.

Be prepared to protect yourself, family, pets and property.

The river and flooding forecast is as follows: The River Cole has responded to todays heavy rain and is expected to spill out into the floodplain this afternoon in the Lower Stratton area. No property flooding is currently expected.  We will continue to monitor the situation.
The weather forecast is to expect the rain to continue throughout the afternoon, clearing away this evening. More isolated thundery showers are expected overnight and tomorrow.

  • Prepare a flood kit including a torch, batteries, mobile phone, warm clothes, water, food and any prescription medicines you may need.
  • Avoid walking, cycling or driving through flood water.
  • Farmers should consider moving livestock and equipment away from areas likely to flood.
  • Keep an eye on local water levels and weather conditions.  Visit the Environment Agency website www.environment-agency.gov.uk for river level and flooding information.
  • Call Floodline on  0845 988 1188 using quickdial 171235 for up-to-date flooding information.

Contact

Environment Agency South East
West Thames Flood Warning Duty Officer
Red Kite House,
Howbery Park, Wallingford,
Oxon. OX10 8BD
Floodline  0845 988 1188

Pollution in South Marston Brook

There has be some pollution found in the South Marston Brook in the vicinity of St Julian’s close. The Environment Agency have been investigating this today and have also laid oil absorption pads into the brook.

In case more pollution is observed, the Environment Agency Incident Hotline number is 0800 80 70 60.

I took the opportunity to speak to two of the environment agency contractors who were maintaining the absorption pads being used on the river. Apparently the source of the oil had been traced to an electrical transformer on the crown timber site, which had been disturbed in a suspected copper cabling theft. As I left at 18:00 there was still a trace layer of oil on the stream.

Village Expansion Update (revised) – August 2011

Following the village consultation exercise in May, which generally endorsed the principles for development proposed by the Parish Council Expansion Working Group, there have been further meetings with Swindon Borough Council and an initial meeting with the developers.
The timetable for the South Marston supplementary planning document has been put back three months due to the number of responses received by Swindon Borough Council to the draft Core Strategy and we hope to consult further with the village by November.
We are discussing options, locations and costings with SBC’s Education Department for the school and with the Highways Department regarding the proposed development at Rowborough, access onto the A420, Pound Corner and minimising through-traffic.
The developers say that their vision for the expansion of the village is not far apart from ours and we are to have more detailed discussions with them.
We are also meeting again with the Environment Agency to address flooding issues.

The Working Party will consult with villagers on options for expansion before the village SPD is drawn up by SBC.  The government’s localism agenda may support our influence, but its policy of promoting economic growth by building more houses supports the developers.

We will continue to keep everyone informed on future developments.
South Marston Parish Council

Property Level Protection Applications

The Environment Agency have informed Swindon Borough Council that DEFRA have agreed they can ring-fence £2million nationally, for property Level Protection schemes in the financial year 2011/12. Property Level Protection is available to residents who have endured flooding in South Marston.

There are tight timescales for submitting applications. Residents who feel they qualify and wish to apply for a funding grant to protect their property should send an expression of interest to highwayasset@swindon.gov.uk before 8th April 2011.

Applications will then be processed by Swindon Borough Council through the Environment Agency on your behalf.

Key points:

  • Tight timescale for submitting applications. Expressions of interest to highwayasset@swindon.gov.uk by 8th April 2011.
  • Swindon Borough Council will be informed of successful applications by 5th May 2011.
  • Schemes to be finished and money claimed by 31st March 2012.
  • Grant allocation is £4,250 per property (to include £500 on administration, no limit on survey costs).

For more information, please email: propertyprotection@environment-agency.gov.uk or visit the South Marston website where further details will be posted.

 

Parish Council News – April 2011

Village Expansion

Swindon Council Road Show – 12th April

Swindon Borough Council have published the revised draft Core Strategy that will govern the expansion of the town to 2026 and beyond. It includes an amended Eastern Development area plan and specific outline plans for the expansion of South Marston. Responses are required by 24th May.

They will be holding a Road Show in the village hall between 5 and 9 pm on the 12th April. Some issues are proving more controversial than we expected.  Continue reading Parish Council News – April 2011