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JennyMorgan

Broad Sheet No 38

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Navigation and water ecology, the Authority, via their newsletter, tells us about their plans to cut weed in the main rivers and open Broads. No real problem with that until you read the detail! The detail being that cutting on open Broads is restricted to marked channels such as on Hickling. Despite 'that bridge' at Potter traffic across the Broad can be quite significant and when the wind is less than helpful sailing boats need to navigate outside the marked channels.

This can also be a safety factor. Okay for me in my Drascombe, I can lift my centre-plate but the keel boats from Martham Boats & Hunters, for example, don't have that facility. It also raises the issue of 'Sandford', however you identity it, via the backdoor. History clearly shows that Navigation is playing second fiddle to conservation in regard to weed cutting, especially where Natural England is poking its unwelcome nose into Broads issues.

And so to Oulton Broad, we don't have, thankfully, a defined navigable channel yet the North Bay of the Broad is fast becoming choked with 'water plants' (Weeds) despite the fact that the entire Broad is both navigable and navigated, and not limited to a channel. I accept that mucking around in boats is not the B all and end all of life, not quite, but the Authority is responsible, not just for enjoyment, heritage and conservation but also navigation and in that they have no option, it's defined in law. Let's remember their shared duties;

It is the duty of the Authority to manage the Broads for the purposes of:

Conserving and enhancing the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Broads.

Promoting opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the Broads by the public.

Protecting the interests of navigation.

Don't know about you but two thirds of those requirements can be related to navigation, two thirds being a clear majority!

Beyond that do we really need to be told the irrelevant story of national parks? 

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I am sure indeed that they will refer you to the relevant authority on weed cutting be it Natural England or the other lot. As you rightly say, it may not be the BA in control and your comments perhaps should be addressed to those bodies who actually control it.

Bit like the dredging issue I guess!

However this is nothing new - I recall many years ago - about 50, when Hickling was far worse than it is now and GY P & H Commrs had to have a weed cutter to cope - it got so bad that someone was appointed to study the damned stuff and then it just disappeared.  I am sure the someone from HSC will confirm the up to date position which most people will agree not good in some parts but it is not helped by the warmer winters - this winter for example we have hardly had a frost and certainly no ice, so its hardly surprising that as the years progress, what used to die away, no longer does so.

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It would be good to think that since  the Broads Authority, supported by the Broads Act, governs the Broads, that they then would be the final arbiter, that bodies such as NE (or whatever they call themselves now) only act as consultees. In the past the BA has tended to cow-tow to anybody that would provide an excuse for them not dredging.

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With the greatest of respect Peter, you and I know that that is extremely unlikely.  By all means make that enquiry but when ever has an "individual" ever had authority over a national body. Its a bit like suggesting that your local council can control central government!

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19 minutes ago, marshman said:

With the greatest of respect Peter, you and I know that that is extremely unlikely.  By all means make that enquiry but when ever has an "individual" ever had authority over a national body. Its a bit like suggesting that your local council can control central government!

The Authority can at least make a stand. An example being the disposal of spoil. Apparently on the canals cost effective side casting onto the banks is still practiced, not by the BA though!

Don't forget, the BA has chosen to call the Broads an NP despite being told by Parliament that it couldn't!

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Not entirely the last comment is entirely relevant to the OP!! I will take it as just a little drift!

However I have said my piece as I think you are blaming the wrong people - you disagree but thats your prerogative!!! 

P.S. What sort of stand are you advocating by the way?

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13 minutes ago, marshman said:

P.S. What sort of stand are you advocating by the way?

If dredging needs doing then get on and do it, simple! Well, maybe not always that simple but a far greater show of enthusiasm wouldn't go amiss, as one might reasonably expect from a statutory Harbour Authority.

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22 minutes ago, marshman said:

Not entirely (sure that) the last comment is entirely relevant to the OP!! I will take it as just a little drift!

But it is surely relevant to your comment: 

"By all means make that inquiry but when ever has an "individual" ever had authority over a national body. Its a bit like suggesting that your local council can control central government!"

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4 hours ago, marshman said:

So the CRT do side cast dredging - but all of the time???

https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/specialist-teams/engineering/dredging/dredging-techniques

Just as the BA do too - check Waxham Cut but that was because they had permission to do so I guess.

 

There are a greater number of instances where they could have but didn't! I suspect that we both know that.

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32 minutes ago, JennyMorgan said:

There are a greater number of instances where they could have but didn't! I suspect that we both know that.

To be honest Peter, I don't know how either of you could "know that".

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13 minutes ago, MauriceMynah said:

To be honest Peter, I don't know how either of you could "know that".

We both have friends around the Broads, even in high places! The Rhond Telegraph is alive and well and we both have eyes and ears.

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Has anyone been across Hickling this year ? I hear the Weed is bad due to not having been cut yet and very few boats on Hickling.

Would be a shame if local venues had to change their name: The Pleasure Boat Stuck Inn, Hicking Broad Weeding Club, Whispering Weeds Boatyard etc

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The BA haven't stopped cutting at all - the weedcutter has already been out and will continue to be out on its regular programme throughout the rest of the summer. However sadly like many things, its not the BA's decision but that of the EA who have the final say as to what is, or isn't cut and to what level it is actually cut. Generally however it is only the channel that is cut, and  I would seriously doubt whether the channel is such you cannot get up or down it!

The fact that there are few boats is I am sure, dictated by other factors - no one is hiring yet but with Martham doing day boats now, I guess we shall soon see a few more around. Fishing is also about to start and that should help numbers further.But you can guarantee that as soon as people can actually hire, it will start raining properly and water levels could drift back up!

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26 minutes ago, marshman said:

Generally however it is only the channel that is cut, and  I would seriously doubt whether the channel is such you cannot get up or down it!

Conservation by exclusion and planned neglect? 

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As far as I know its never been cut all over and you wouldn't expect it as no one goes all over it espcially into it deepest corners but the last time I went up their on a normal tide, I recall sailing over quite large sections outside the channel. But then it only drew around 2'6" - neither exclusion or neglect.  BUT the weed does seem to have a mind of its own as to how much it grows!

You will of course recall just how much trouble the GYP& HC had with the weed in Hickling but correct me if I am wrong, at its worst even they only did the channels!!! I believe that they appointed someone to study the issue - only for the weed to die off!!! 60 years later and it is still being dredged and used, and open to traffic!

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