No. 143 JANUARY 1989
IN the last issue we reported on a small number of inspection trips made into Greywell Tunnel last September. Letters subsequently appeared in some local newspapers condemning the visits as unauthorised and irresponsible. Members may therefore like to know the facts.
Written permission was given by Hampshire County Council to explore the tunnel for its archaeological interest.
The trips were meticulously planned over many months and carefully undertaken at a time of year when few if any bats would be present. It is a well known and accepted fact that bats primarily use the tunnel for hibernation during winter months.
Officials from the Nature Conservancy Council actually tried to stop entry and called the police. Two officers responded to a complaint that there were people in the tunnel shooting at bats. Having satisfied themselves no such action was taking place, the officers explained to the NCC officials that the visitors were acting within their rights to navigate into the tunnel.
Nobody questions the need to protect the habitats of bats: like barn owls, their traditional haunts are disappearing.
But, the tunnel trips seem to have been blown up out of all proportion.
Bats frequent navigable canal tunnels, such as the 1/2 mile long Saddington Tunnel on the Leicester section of the Grand Union Canal, without any apparent ill effect.
The function of the NCC, surely, is to protect our natural environment and wildlife habitats from destruction, not seek to prohibit careful and considered access where rights of way exist. The NCC seems to be spending an inordinate amount of time and energy trying to control and limit the legitimate use of the Basingstoke Canal. At the same time we read that development annually swallows up an area equivalent to the size of Dorking in Surrey alone.
Nature conservationists do seem to be getting their priorities sadly wrong.
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NICHOLAS Ridley, the Environment Secretary says, local people and local authorities are responsible for local planning: the Government does not make the decisions.
So why has Hart District Council changed its mind and approved a massive new housing development on Velmead Farm, Crookham? The Planning application was opposed by local people. It was turned down by the local council, and a DOE inspector upheld the decision not to allow building.
The reason for the Hart U-turn is Government pressure to accommodate an enormous quota of new housing with nowhere else to put them. So another area of countryside along the canal will vanish and the urban environment will create severe pressures locally on the newly restored amenity.
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EDUCATING DOG OWNERS
THE majority of dog owners train their pets to use their own backyards for calls of nature. But some take their dogs to public places deliberately for that purpose. And the canal towpath, especially around access points, is a favourite place.
The confined area of messy towpaths is becoming an increasing nuisance and a potential health hazard to young children.
It is high time that the unsociable habit of a minority who encourage their dogs to use the towpath is not only discouraged but banned.
Early in December members of the Kent and East Sussex Canal Restoration Group, supported by volunteers from the London branch of Waterway Recovery Group, paid their last visit to the canal at Woodham. (top) Restoring the upper wing walls of Lock 3... the last major work to complete the chamber before gates are fitted, (bottom right) Clearing up and landscaping around the restored chamber, (bottom left) Lock 3 ... the way it was. (Photos: Dieter Jebens/Clive Durley).
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BOTANISTS SAY CARRY ON BOATING
THE canal's aquatic plant life has benefited as a result of restoration and is not being adversely affected by present levels of motor boating. These are the conclusions reached by two experts reporting on the first year's research programme on the Basingstoke Canal, instigated by the Conservation Working Party formed by the canal's Joint Management Committee.
The report was produced last September by Dr. John Pygott and Dr. John Eaton, from the Department of Botany at Liverpool University who were originally called by the Guildford and Reading Branch of the Inland Waterways Association.
An analysis of a vegetation survey, covering 13 sample areas along the length of the canal, from Greywell to Scotland Bridge at Byfleet, indicated that whilst an exceptionally large number of plants exist in the canal, individual sites were 'unexceptional' apart from one at Eelmoor. 37 species of plants were recorded in Eelmore Flash, Farnborough, which is also noted for its dragonfly population, making it one of the best canal sites in Britain.
Three plant surveys a year, in April, July and September, will be commissioned by the NCC this year lo monitor any changes.
The report stressed the importance of the canal's future management to prevent species such as reedswamp from spreading over the canal, restricting other plants as much as hindering navigation.
At Curzon Bridge on the Deepcut flight, at St. John's and also at Scotland Bridge, the report comments on the prolific growth of duckweed
which is expected to clear once navigation starts.
Research into the canal's water chemistry is being conducted by Farnborough College of Technology. Results point to two polluted lengths the report recommends should be investigated and the source eradicated: one is at Colt Hill where 'the water was turbid and the bed black and oxygen deficient*. The other was at Mytchett Lake where 'high levels of phosphate were present'.
The research also showed a less definite zoning in the alkaline and acid water sections identified originally, probably due to a greater movement in water.
Fish stocks do not appear to have been affected by increased boating says the report. A survey by Thames Water Authority found tench at most of thirteen sites sampled - a fish which is susceptible to boating.
Boat Traffic Survey
Current levels of motorised boating have not reached the level of 2,000 movements a year which the writers regard as the critical level at which plant growth is affected.
Data on motor boat traffic on the Basingstoke was obtained from a questionnaire sent out to 1987 licence holders, and from the 272 motor boat licences issued last year. From this information it was calculated that the highest number of boat movements was 549 between Colt Hill and Barley Mow.
The proposed 350 licences per year for 1989 would not lead to any significant decline in vegetation, the report concludes, adding 'in fact slightly more traffic in some lengths could help to stabilise the vegetation'.
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You have probably read by now that I have decided to leave the working party I started 15 years ago. I had thought I could leave as quietly as I had quietly started. But that was not to be as
some people decided to shower me with gifts for something I had enjoyed.
Pablo at Sheerwater Top Lock - his team's last project.
The members of my working party gave me a fancy paddle key and Jill a book about 'Idle Women' in the last War. Jill knows all about operating locks while I steer the boat.
At the open meeting in Mytchelt, Robin Higgs gave me a Buckby Can on behalf of the Society, the sight of which took my breath away and I managed to mumble 'thank you'.
Of course Jill was in on the secret and gave Robin one of my hats. I am not sure who got the best, there are many 'Cans' but not many of my 'hats'. This short letter is really to say 'thank you' for such beautiful gifts, and I wish the Society and members of my ex-working party more strength to their arm in the coming months until the canal is fully restored.
Needless to day, Jill and I will continue to give you our very vocal support until we grow hoarse.
Pablo Haworth, 'Sheerwood', Woodham Lane, Woking, Surrey
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A FORUM FOR QUESTIONS
THE questions ranged from what effect designation of the canal as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) will have on navigation to the problem of dogs fouling the towpath and back to SSSIs.
Well over 150 members filled Mytchett Community Centre for a members forum held on 18th November to debate the Society's future.
But what should have been a timely review of the Society's post restoration future role turned into an Any Questions? session more appropriate to Any Other Business at an AGM.
At least members aired their views and if those responsible for running the Society took note and take action, the forum will have served a useful purpose.
Clearly there is a sense of apprehension among members over moves by the Nature Conservancy Council (NCC) to see the canal operated primarily to conserve wildlife. A number of members expressed strong resentment while some others simply felt despondent over attempts by naturalists to restrict full use being made of the canal as a navigation, for which so many volunteers have dedicated their time and effort over the past 14 years.
But the moving spirit of the Society lives on. The campaigning zeal and active commitment, which have returned a once derelict ditch into a thriving waterway, remains as active as ever. The meeting was unanimous in urging all members write to their Member of Parliament and local councillors to question the NCCs action in seeking to control the statutory use of the navigation. And several members pressed the Committee to do more to refute the misleading and erroneous statements made about the Society in letters to the local press.
Greywell Tunnel and restoration westwards to Up Nately remains an undisputed future aim of the Society. Members unanimously agreed to continue current investigations into the engineering problems and solutions.
A canoeist raised the messy problem of dogs allowed to foul the towpath and banks. Everyone agreed this ever present nuisance was increasing and the solution was a need for education either of the dogs or owners and perhaps both.
The Secretary tried to get back to more fundamental problems. "Should the Society not concentrate on completing the outstanding restoration programme before embarking on the western end?", asked Philip Riley. Frank Jones, the Society's full time team manager, agreed but saw no conflict in priorities since the one was largely a practical project and the other a matter of planning and promotion.
And while on the subject of the Tunnel, should the Society not conduct its own survey of bat numbers as the original number of 2000 winter hibernators had melted away to 500? "Yes", replied the Chairman, that was something he had asked the Inland Waterways Association to take on.
Jill Haworth considered the leaking canal bed at Sheerwater a more pressing problem (perhaps because she lives nearby) and felt that the County Council should give repair work priority, in terms of financial allocations, over spending £400,000 on consolidating the Woodham houseboat moorings. "Could the Society not help the County Council?", she asked.
Looking to the future, Mike Ledger suggested that the Society should encourage more youngsters. And so we do, Peter Redway pointed out. A party of Scouts, tempted out by the presence of a work boat, were planning to do some clearance work at St. John's.
And on the subject of maintenance: "How many members would be prepared to become responsible for maintaining a length of canal or a lock?", vice chairman David Millett asked, with an encouraging level of response.
Ken Halls asked whether the Society was pressing Surrey County Council to increase the staff of canal rangers. "Yes", replied the chairman and again "yes" to pursuing the need for a mooring basin since linear moorings, on a commercial basis, were unacceptable.
That old perennial, a second trip boat, broke the surface again. "It's a question of support", said Roger Cansdale, no doubt expecting the idea to submerge just as quickly. But a number of prospective pioneers came forward.
How about doing more towpath repairs, someone else wanted to know. "Yes, we are aware ...", the Chairman replied, which prompted an associated question: "How about a footpath to Basingstoke?". "Yes, we have talked about it..." came back yet another inconclusive reply.
But the Tunnel and the NCC were never far from members thoughts, ranging from the formidable task of changing the Wildlife and Countryside Act to petitions, and letters to the Press.
"Don't believe everything the NCC tells you", Brian Chappell warned and told the meeting of an occasion when the NCC tried to alter a much needed village by-pass in Norfolk to protect a rare moth. But at an inquiry it was discovered the rarity had fluttered away many moons earlier. That prompted someone to point out that a rare grass (indeed the rarest of them all on the canal) had mysteriously disappeared from its site at Sheerwater. "If it had been the Society there would have been a hell of a stink", Roger Cansdale observed indignantly.
But back to a weightier issue. "What are the County Councils going to say about the £3 million spent on restoration, if it not used for the purpose it was built?", another member asked.
"Has the Committee made a commitment to seek restoration of the tunnel?", asked Tony Davis,
who masterminded the Frimley Water Festival. If not, there was scope for another Society to be formed, he thought.
Jeremy Browne had difficulty, he said, in coming to terms with the prospect of restoring the western end. But he seemed to be the only one.
The Chairman revealed that he had asked for the anticipated 25 mile SSSI designation to carry on past Brookwood Hospital where the canal is thick with water weeds if the tales of boaters are any judge. But it seems the NCC not only protects wildlife but also the interests of the Health Authority seeking to develop the riparian hospital grounds.
If spending Saturday night away from the comforts of their homes did not really appeal to every member, the last 20 minutes were worth the sacrifice.
Arthur Dungate had been at work again concocting another audio-visual show, called 'Basingstoke Canal Review', which really beat anything the telly had to offer that evening. It was probably his best show ever, combining superb photography with on the spot sound recordings, music and an excellent commentary, which he wrote and presented. The show covered eight major events from the first Deepcut cruise in 1965 to Lock One opening last September.
A one man show which would have been a credit to a professional production team. So, if you missed it, buy the video cassette.
Finally, a thank you to Yvonne Chappell and her helpers for preparing such a tasty supper.
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BAT ROOST BUILT AT EASTLEIGH
HUGE concrete pipes have been semi-buried at Eastleigh's Valley Country Park to make an artificial tunnel for bats.
Members of the Hampshire Bat Group advised the Itchen Hamble Countryside Project on building the concrete cave which has been sponsored by the local council and Southern Water.
Local bat conservationists have high hopes bats will soon move inio their new roosting site. A similar artificial cave, built in a disused chalk pit in Monkton Nature Reserve near Birchington in Kent (See BC News 132 March 1987), was visited by bats only ten weeks after construction.
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CALLING ALL BOAT OWNERS!
During the past season it has been suggested several times that an association be formed to represent boat owners on the Basingstoke Canal. A meeting is to be held in the back room of The Fox & Hounds pub in Fleet, on Wednesday 8th February 1989 at 8.00pm, with a view to forming such an association (perhaps as the Basingstoke Canal Boat Club).
Please come along and put YOUR views. If you can't make it on the night, please send SAE to me after the 8th and I will send you details of what has been agreed.
Chris de Wet, 1 Floods Farm Cottages, Chalky Lane, Dogmersficld, Basingstoke, RG27 8TD (Aldershot 850311).
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MAKE YOUR VIEWS KNOWN by Philip Riley, Honorary Secretary
AT the recent Society meeting at Mytchett members were urged to write to their Members of Parliament and local councillors expressing their concern at the proposed designation of a large length of the canal as a site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and the imposition of severe restrictions on the use of tne canal by motorised craft which are likely to be imposed.
Whilst it is considered important that members who decide to write letters should use their own words, the Committee believes that the following points should be emphasised in any correspondence:
The primary purpose of SSSIs is to protect rare species of plants and creatures found in fields, woodlands and other open spaces. They were not intended to restrict the normal use of highways including navigable waterways.
The canal is a man-made feature which would have completely disappeared had the Society not successfully campaigned to restore it to its original condition.
The financial investment made by Ihe Society, the local authorities, central government and voluntary bodies in restoring the canal runs into millions of pounds. The designation of the canal as an SSSI would severely diminish the value of that investment.
The Nature Conservancy Council has not contributed one penny to the restoration of the canal and lacks the resources to maintain the sections to be designated as an SSSI.
The Society's volunteers together with volunteer teams from many parts of the country have laboured for 20 years to restore the canal to full navigable standard. In recent years the annual effort has exceeded 28,000 man hours.
The NCC must not be allowed to dictate the way in which the canal is restored and used. The Council represents one user interest which must be balanced against all the other users who wish to take advantage of the valuable amenities offered by the canal.
The Canal Society has always regarded nature conservation as an important aspect of its work. However, whilst the NCC threatens and agitates for excessive restrictions, the Society has had the foresight and determination to take the practical steps which were necessary to save the canal from the developers.
Individual members will obviously wish to emphasise certain points more fully than others and there are many other facts which could be used to demonstrate the strength of our case. We leave it to you to put the arguments into your own words but WE DO URGE YOU TO WRITE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
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by Peter Cooper
WORKING PARTIES AND PROGRESS
AS we move into 1989, the pattern of the continuing working parties is changing. With lock restoration on the Woodham Flight nearing completion, the number of regular working parties there is being reduced; in general the emphasis is likely to move towards bankside clearance work, which will continue on a maintenance basis.
The working parties currently operating are listed below. It's usually advisable to contact your working party leader a few days before attending, in case there is a last minute change of plan.
Woodham Locks 2 & 3 - Two weekends per month
By mid-November, Lock 2 was at a very advanced stage of restoration, with the upper wing walls almost complete and work started on the quadrants. Beyond that the main jobs are things like fitting the ladder and installing bollards.
Lock 3 was not quite so far advanced. The upper recess walls were almost complete, and work was started on the upper wing walls. Some coping stones were still to be replaced. When all this had been done, only the finishing jobs (ladder, quadrants, bollards etc) would remain.
It had been hoped that work on these locks would be completed by the end of 1988. But it now looks as though Lock 2 will be all but finished by then, but completion of Lock 3 will require a further two or three months work. So working parties on these locks will continue in the New Year.
The coordinator of the Society's work on this flight is MIKE FELLOWS on Wokingham (0734) 787428, and for further details you should contact him, or one of the working party leaders listed below:
First weekend of the month -
4/5 Feb, 4/5 Mar.
PETER JONES on Aldershot 313076
Third weekend of the month -
14/15 Jan, 18/19 Feb, 18/19 Mar.
PETER REDWAY on Woking 21710
One Working Party Leader who will not be continuing in the New Year is JULES WOOD, who led his last working party at Woodham on 26/27 November. Jules has been leading lock restoration working parties since the Deepcut days, in the late 1970's, and the Society would like to thank him for his very substantial contribution to the restoration of the locks on this canal.
When working on these locks, volunteers are asked to park their cars in the large car park near West Byfleet station. Please do not use the small car park by Lock 2, and do not bring your car down Faris Lane to Lock 3.
Dredging in Hampshire - Every Weekend
The steam dredger Perseverance has now
reached a section at Fleet that was previously dry dredged, and so recent progress has been quite fast; Coxheath Road Bridge has been passed and they are now approaching the Fox and Hounds pub. Serviceability remains good, despite a few minor problems. A social evening for dredger crews has been planned for 27th January.
The dredger crews, County Council and Society need now to consider their strategy towards dredging beyond Reading Road Bridge. Meanwhile, purchase of a third tug has been agreed, and it is expected to arrive shortly. As always new recruits to the dredger team are welcome, and will be given all necessary training. For further details, contact ROGER FLITTER on Fleet 622956.
Lock Gate Building
This party are now working on the gates for Lock 2. After this, there will be only those for Lock 3 and 4, and the lowers for Lock 5, left to build.
Dates are: 7/8 Jan, 4/5 Feb, 4/5 Mar.
Details from FRANK JONES on Deepcut 835711 (workshop) or Camberley 28367 (home).
Hampshire Bankside Work
1st and 3rd Sundays -1 Jan, 15 Jan, 5 Feb, 19 Feb, 5 Mar.
This party will be operating between Chequers Bridge and Double Bridge. The work is unskilled and suitable for family parties. Further details from PETER JACKMAN on Woking 72132.
Surrey Bankside Work
2nd weekend-1 Jan, 11/12 Feb, 11/12 Mar.
This party will be concentrating on tree clearance work in the area of Locks 4, 5 and 6 during the winter months. They will also, particularly in the summer following, take care of jobs remaining to fully complete Lock 4.
Details from DAVID JUNKISON on 01 941 0685 (after 8.00 pm) or DAVE LUNN (temporarily not on phone).
Full Time Work
A big job carried out recently has been piling work downstream of Monument Bridge, Woking. Work is soon likely to switch to the final jobs to complete Lock 2, and some towpath raising continues between Woking and Brookwood.
If you are able to come along and work on the canal during the week, even if only for a few days, you should contact FRANK JONES on Deepcut 835711 (workshop) or Camberley 28367 (home), and he will be happy to find you some work to do. Frank would like to thank all who have helped in this way in the past, and hopes they will be able to come along and help again.
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by Peter Coxhead
BREWERY ROAD UPDATE
SINCE the last issue of BC News, we have viewed a sketch plan of the latest proposal by the Select Country Hotels Group for the Brewery Road car park site in Woking. This has in our opinion turned out to be yet another unsatisfactory scheme and lost opportunity for the important central waterside site. The turning and mooring basin, as proposed, would be a mere indentation into the site. But the worst feature of the development would be a multi-storey car park only some 10 metres from the canal edge. Needless to say, we objected totally to this application.
ST JOHN'S PLANS OPPOSED
We have also formally objected to two other proposed developments, these being at Adams Yard, St. John's and 56-60 Hermitage Woods Crescent, Woking. The first of these involves the proposed building of two 3 storey blocks of flats on a very narrow site, with the result that the walls would be 2.6 metres from the canal. The site is at present in an unsightly condition, but if it is to be developed we would wish to see low rise structures which would be sympathetic to the canal environment.
The other scheme involved the combining of three gardens and building eight detached homes
in the available ground, that is in addition to two
existing properties. We strongly objected to this proposal as it was felt that if this was allowed to proceed, then other householders would be tempted to follow suit, which would be a disaster for that stretch of the canal. However, we are pleased to report that the application was refused.
The Kiln Bridge site at St. John's remains in an undeveloped state. Many applications have been made for this piece of land which borders the canal in the vicinity of Lock No. 11.
Prospective lockside development at St. John's
TOO BIG, TOO CLOSE
A consultation brochure has been issued by Woking Council for the St John's scene as a whole, including again a similar housing development to that proposed in the earlier scheme.
Our view, as it has always been, is that we think this major piece of land in the centre of the village should be designated for recreational purposes. However, this is now unlikely to come to pass and if we are to have a residential type development, then only low rise buildings should be positioned on the canal side of the site, not the tallest blocks as it is continually being proposed. In a nutshell, it's all too big and too close!
With the increasing pressures from land hungry developers we find that applications for schemes which will affect our canal arc becoming more frequent. Woking Council are co-operating by sending details of such proposals but we ask that Members be vigilant and don't hesitate to contact our Planning Officers, Peter Coxhead, Vic Trott and David Millett, if you think there is a planning issue of which we should be aware.
First in Windows
Phone your local Crittall
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MORE BOAT LICENCES TO BE OFFERED
AT the Joint Management committee (JMC) held last November it was agreed to increase the number of licences for motorised boat licences by 50.
Some Society members had expected the increase would be added to the 1988 limit of 300 motor boat licences. But as the number of licences issued by mid-September was 272, the Committee decided to apply the increase from a level of 275.
Motorised boat licences accounted for 27% of the total 1039 issued in 1988, it was reported, showing an increase of 13% on the previous year.
Two-thirds of the licenses were sold in Hampshire but sales in Surrey rose by 39%, reflecting the increased length open for navigation.
Mooring licences also increased by 53% to 49, mainly due to increased demand in Surrey now accounting for just over half the total licences issued.
Fees Increase Sharply
Increased charges were prompted by the extension of navigable water to Woking and rising inflation.
Most categories of boat licences have gone up substantially, by an average of 24%. But the cost of the most popular class for motorised boats up to 14ft long, accounting for 70% of all motorised boat licences issued last year, has gone up by 34%.
Single Seat non-motor||£5.00|
|Multi-seat non motor||£8.75|
|Motorised up to 14ft||£17.00|
|Motorised up to 25ft||£25.00|
|Motorised up to 35ft||£39.00|
|Motorised up to 50ft||£58.00|
|Motorised up to 72ft||£72.00|
NB: 50% reduction for electrically powered boats.
Mooring fees have also been increased to 75% of the annual boat licence fee.
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CANAL USER GROUP MEETS
VOLUNTARY support to help maintain the canal in the future may be considerably reduced if the Nature Conservancy Council persists in trying to restrict navigation.
The warning came at a meeting of Basingstoke Canal Joint Advisory Group held last September, representing user interests, riparian district and parish councils, the National Trust and Thames Water. It was pointed out that a restriction on boating would also reduce revenue from licences and mooring permits.
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CANAL DIRECTOR APPOINTMENT
THE appointment of a £19,000 Canal Director, to run the Basingstoke as an entity, is expected to be made this month. But the integration of the two County Council teams of rangers will not take effect until 1st April, it was reported by the Treasurer of the Joint Management Committee at the last meeting held on 1st November last.
Reporting on the current financial situation, it was stated that the Society was continuing to make a 'major input' by using in excess of £45,000 to employ our four-man full time workforce 'which is an important part of the restoration process'. It was also noted that the voluntary labour input was considerable, amounting to some 28,000 hours.
Surrey's current year budget for restoration work amounts to £141,000 plus £200,000 towards new mooring facilities for the remaining houseboats at Woodham, costing nearly £450,000 in total.
Three district councils in Surrey - Runnymede, Surrey Heath and Woking - are contributing £5,950 to the Society for additional craftsmen.
Canal staff and operating costs currently amount to £112,100 in Surrey and £117,600 in Hampshire.
Total revenue from the canal, is estimated at £17,200 with houseboat mooring fees accounting for 68%.
Surrey's net revenue expenditure is estimated at £99,600 which is shared equally with the four riparian district councils.
The two riparian district councils in Hampshire, Rushmoor and Hart, do not currently contribute but will do so from 1st April with the aim to pay 50% of the total cost within three years.
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CONSERVATION SITES PROPOSED
COUNTY Council nature conservationists have listed 24 sites along the canal for development as nature reserves at an estimated cost of nearly £600,000.
The proposed list includes a 1/4 mile by-pass channel on the north side of the canal at Eelmore and a longer length at Rushmoor at an estimated cost of £300,000.
The extension of existing canalside flashes and winding and the excavation of filled in flashes make up the bulk of the list, but excavation of new sites is also envisaged at Dogmersfield, the military town in Aldershot, Broad Oak and at North Warnborough.
The suggestion to ban boats from Great Bottom Flash will not be welcomed by boaters who currently enjoy the use of this open expanse of water which adjoins the canal at Ash Vale.
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A PIONEERING PARTNERSHIP by Dieter Jebens
AS voluntary work to restore lock chambers on the canal comes to an end so, too, does a remarkable partnership.
Mike Fellows and Ken Parish will long be associated with the canal as the creators of the canal camps. Without the four summer camps on the Si. John's and Woodham flights of locks, completion might still be several years away today.
They first met on the Basingstokc ten years ago. 38-year old Ken Parish, who lives near Maidstone, went on his first working party in 1977 when he joined 600 other volunteers on 'Deepcut Dig' one weekend in October. Like other recruits, his initial interest was sparked off by a boating holiday. It generated an enthusiasm thai turned into action when he discovered that, for every mile of navigable waterway, there were an equal number abandoned or derelict.
As a member of the Kent & East Sussex branch of the Inland Waterways Association, Ken and his wife Liz brought a party of members to work on Deepcut Lock 19, supporting Peter Oates and his team from the Southampton Canal Society.
Ken's local contact was Mike Fellows who was co-ordinating the work of seven separate parties engaged on the flight of fourteen locks.
Mike, too, was drawn to restoration work as a result of a canal cruise. Living at Winnersh near Wokingham, the Basingstoke was one of his nearest projects. He worked with Clem Hebert's parties even before the first official Society working parties in Hampshire following the County Council's take-over at the end of 1973.
Mike's job with the Transport and Road Research Laboratory at Crowthorne brought him in contact with Jim Chisholm who led one of the initial gangs on the Deepcut flight, demolishing Lock 26. Mike Joined Jim's parties and went on to lead his own group before taking over the role of co-ordinator from Frank Jones when he turned professional in 1977.
A desire to help improve the waterways is not the only factor that motivates them. Both Mike and Ken admit to the satisfaction gained from meeting the challenge of the project.
While Mike planned and organised the work programme to restore locks in Surrey, Ken founded the Kent & East Sussex Canal Restoration Group. They came together as a learn to organise the first fortnight's summer work camp in 1983 at St. John's.
As a mathematician and computer expert, Mike put his expertise to work on planning and logistics. He spent the best part of twelve months preparing for each of the four work camps held on the Basingstoke. Each was meticulously planned to provide everything from Hymac excavators down to the last nut and bolt, with the aim of keeping 80 or more volunteers busy for a fortnight.
Mike Fellows and Ken Parish at Lock 3
For Ken, an engineer with British Telecom,
matching jobs with people, combined with a flair for management, are his special abilities.
Together Mike Fellows and Ken Parish, with the recruitment support of Waterway Recovery Group, developed the concept of summer work camps, now known more appealingly as canal camps. Apart from providing a programme of work that ensured there would be no idle hands, the recruits were encouraged to stretch their capabilities which heightened the sense of satisfaction achievement brings. And after work, as much thought and time was given to arranging an attractive variety of leisure activiiies.
41-Year old Mike Fellows will now bow out, he says, having achieved the target set, for he believes that departures should be made a positive act as much as every stage of the project.
For Ken the Basingstokc Canal is just one of KESCRG's list of engagements. But he shares the idea of setting completions as part of a successful plan. Not that he is planning, just yet, to leave the organisation he crealed which has found work for more than 400 volunteers over the past three years, many of whom are now committed supporters of the waterways movement.
With their work of the Basingstokc at an end, what are their other favourite canal projects? As with most other subjects there was no lack of agreement: both named the Huddersfield Narrow top of the list for its special character and charm; the Droitwich Junction as a compact, major reconstruction challenge; the Montgomery because it deserves universal support; and the Wilts and Berks as a relative newcomer.
Such is the working bond they have established. Mike Fellows and Ken Parish will, one feels, reappear together somewhere else on the system in the future.
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ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
NOTICE is hereby given of the twelfth Annual General Meeting of the Surrey and Hampshire Canal Society Ltd., which will be held on Saturday 6th May, 1989 at Mytchett Community Centre. Nominations are invited from members to stand for election to the Board of Directors (known as the Executive Committee). Closing date for nominations is Saturday llth February.
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BOATING ON THE BASINGSTOKE
THOUGH much has been said about the amount, content and future of the aquatic flora of the Basingstoke Canal little has been said about the future of motor boating.
To date we have had applications for 274 annual licences with the total available for next year being increased to 325 excluding non-powered craft. This may not seem a very high figure, but with the complete lack of moorings on the canal, it is unlikely to be exceeded. Even when the canal is fully open, without this type of facility, the numbers are unlikely to increase dramatically and it is doubtful whether any commercial enterprise will invest a considerable sum of money in a mooring basin, even if a site could be found until the problems with the NCC are resolved and the canal is fully open and operational.
Of the 274 licences issued in 1988 only 49 craft are permanently moored on the canal. The remainder are trailed craft visiting the canal for a day or two at a time. This averages out at about 1-1/2 boats per mile. British Waterways moored craft average 10 boats per mile, the Thames supports over 100 per mile and the neighbouring River Wey 50 per mile, so it can be seen that the Basingstoke figures are far, far below the average.
When the canal is open there will be a demand for about 50 annual licences for boats permanently moored on the Wey Navigation which will increase
the number of annual licences required up to the 400 mark.
However there will be a considerable demand for visitors licences bearing in mind that the River Wey has 1000 craft and received over 500 visitors per year. Then there will also be visiting boats from other parts of the country so we could expect in excess of a thousand visitors per year. The question is, apart from our problems with the NCC can the water supply support such traffic?
In theory if there is water going over the by-wash at Lock One, then a boat should be able to enter the canal and be worked up to the summit. Until the canal is fully restored we will not really know what number the water supply will be capable of supporting. If any restrictions need to be applied once the canal is opened, they must be controlled properly by management and not imposed under a blanket restriction by the NCC as it is very unlikely that the canal will be capable of anything like the heavy traffic that the NCC are so concerned about.
CHAIRMAN, IWA Guildford and Reading Branch,
2 Fir Tree Way, Fleet, Hants.
Editor's Note: In BC News 142 we inadvertently referred to a requirement for at least 40O licences, once the canal is opened which prompted the above clarification.
POWERS OF THE NCC
THE subject of restrictions on the canal by the Nature Conservancy Council is one which must worry all members, but I do not recall having ever seen, in BC News or elsewhere, any explanation of how the NCC comes to have the power to interfere in this way, and I imagine many other members are equally puzzled. Could someone please give us an account of how the NCC derives its powers, who it represents, who elects or appoints its officials, and what redress there is against its decisions.
I was interested to see the account of the success of the John Pinkerton in the past year but was somewhat annoyed to see yet another request for people to act as crew. I was made redundant in spring 1987 so, thinking I could do something useful with my time, possibly on a regular weekly basis, and having a fair amount of boat experience, I offered myself to the John Pinkerton organisers. I was very politely thanked, and was told that they had about 100 names on their list, and have heard nothing since, apart from a letter justifiably tearing a strip off those crew members who failed to turn up and apparently treated the whole thing as just a 'jolly'. My reaction was to decide it served the organisers right! I had in the meantime looked around and found other things to do with my time and have no intention of volunteering for anything
else to do with the canal, as you clearly have more volunteers than you can use. I wonder how many other possible helpers have been turned away in this manner.
49 Queen Mary's Drive, New Haw, Weybridge, Surrey, Surrey GU15 3TW
Editors Note: An article about the NCC appears on page 15.
As regards crewing John Pinkerton, we're sorry Mr. Weddell feels let down. Elaine Manshipp, our crew organiser, says she tried to contact Mr. Weddell several times but without success. Remember, the organisers are volunteers too, so please contact Elaine if you are waiting fora booking. Elaine also points out that all volunteers must first join one of the pre-season training sessions or Tuesday evening trips for members. It's not just a matter of handling the boat but also having a knowledge of the layout, and how to deal with the passengers. So, if you would like to crew, please don't wait to be asked. Elaine will welcome your call, and can generally be reached at home during the day, as well as the evenings, on Yateley 879413.
WORK TO BE DONE
On a recent Sunday morning I walked along the towpath from Brookwood to Woking. The canal was covered in ice and lifeless. Unlike the Wey Navigation there wasn't a boat in sight and one might believe that the NCC was already in control. And I reflected on the need lo stem the massive housing developments.
At the end of Saturday afternoon working at Woodham, my farewell call of 'see you next year' was answered by, 'there may not be any more working parties nexl year'. But judging by the decayed brickwork in Lock 3 hidden by rubble, and the exposure of an embankment wall, there may be more work still to do than we know.
Along the Hampshire length I noticed at least three iron reinforcement straps are missing and a bolt is broken on Double Bridge at Dogmersfield. I'm glad to sec that holes in the towpath, left when the anti-invasion obstacles were removed, are being filled in. But can something more be done to clear up fishermen's litter and the site markers they use in competitions?
The beautiful new leaflet sponsored by Phillips Petroleum is very popular with non winners in the Grand Draw. I've been giving them out at work. Someone said we should ask lOp so I am enclosing a cheque for £2 and should appreciate some more.
12 Lilford Road, London SE5 9HX
THE LAST OF THE FEW
Last year the Bank Clearance Party headed by Pete Jackman spent many weeks clearing Spanton's Wharf and the adjacent towpaths of the usual undergrowth and the debris left by the Great Storm. We had some enormous fires! We also spread some 30 tons of wood chippings to prepare the ground for 'WOKING 150'. It was great fun shovelling the sweet smelling chippings from a low trailer drawn by a mini-tractor. This year we have moved to Hampshire and are sadly depleted in numbers. Apart from the rather demoralising effect of this, as the fire needs almost constant attention and must be burned out before we leave (keeping two people fully occupied), it requires more than two or three people to cut vegetation, fell trees, and fetch and carry to the fire. A working party of less than six is hardly viable.
We meet every first and third Sunday during the winter (see Working Parties and Progress, Why not give it a try for a morning or afternoon? Wear several layers of light clothing; bring packed lunch and gloves.
Last time out, it snowed, we saw two Kingfishers and I fell out of the boat - causing great hilarity amongst the other occupants. We can't promise such delights every lime, but we all derive quiet enjoyment from our shared interest and our close contact with our beautiful waterway, which our efforts help to maintain.
9 Mistletoe Road, Yatcley, Camberlcy, Surrey.
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BASINGSTOKE CANAL SLIDEFILMS AVAILABLE ON VIDEOTAPE (VHS)
RTL - RESTORING TO LIFE (1987) 24 mins
A brief historical background; Mike Fellows describes lock reconstruction by volunteers; Frank Jones shows lock gate manufacture at the Deepcut Workshop; bridge repair etc by the full-time team; Bert and Betty Scammell with towpath and bankside clearance; Andy Stumpf and the floating dredger operating; the Society's Trip Boat the John Pinkerton; restored lengths of canal now an amenity.
BCR - THE BASINGSTOKE CANAL REVIEW (1988) 25 mins
A magazine of events and achievements over the last few years. The current edition contains - Deepcut inaugural cruise (Oct 85); Brookwood Completion (May 86); Ash Lock 20/40 Rally (June 86); Frimley Park Rally (June 87); St. Johns Opening (April 88); Woking 150 and Winchfield 150 celebrations (May & Sept 88); Lock 1 completion (Sept 88); future works towards eventual completion of the canal.
PWE - THE PROMISE OF THE WESTERN END (1988) 15 mins
The proposal to restore the Greywell Tunnel and the canal beyond. An exciting project for the future!
MBE - MAD BUT ENJOYABLE (1986) 25 mins
Mike Fellows (SHCS) and Ken Parish (KESCRG) tell the 'inside story' of the summer canal camps and working parties on the St. Johns Flight.
All the above available from Arthur Dungate, 187Ellerdine Road,
Hounslow, Middx TW3 2PU
Price £5.95 per tape plus 50p postage (each tape).
Cheques payable to: The Surrey and Hampshire Canal Society Ltd.
Roger Flitter (centre) and members of the dredger crew.
(Photo: D. Jebens/C. Durley)
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BRITISH WATERWAYS 1989 CALENDAR
BRITISH Waterways 1989 Calender departs from the more usual format using colour photographs of waterways as we know them today. This year's calendar is a beautifully produced collection of 13 hand tinted pictures of waterways scenes from 1900 to 1950 entitled 'Waterways -Our National Heritage'.
Designer Richard Shipley neatly combines modern typography and layout with classic scenes of the past. A number of the pictures have been reproduced from old postcards while one is reproduced from a print off a giass plate negative.
And where better to depict the changing seasons than the waterways, from high summer on the River Stort at Bishops Stortford showing two horse drawn lighters under a huge spreading chestnut tree, to an ice breaker on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in the bitter depths of winter.
The Calendar has been produced to mark the opening of the National Waterways Museum at Gloucester Docks, open daily except Monday throughout the winter 10.00 am to 5.00 pm. From Easter to October the museum will open 7 days a week.
The Calendar measures 395mm x 305mm, printed in full colour, spiral hound, month to view each with a picture. Price £3.75 per copy plus 75p post and packing from: The Canal Shop, British Waterways, Melbury House, Melbury Terrace, London NW1 6JX.
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28 MEMBERS, including 5-year old Christopher Appleyard, enjoyed a perfect autumn day on 27th November, walking across some of the finest Hampshire countryside around Greywell and Mapledurwell, organised by Bill Homewood.
Farming country will feature again in our ramble on Sunday 12th February covering 6-1/2 miles between Odiham and Well, meeting at Colt Hill at 10.30 am.
Colt Hill is again the meeting point for an afternoon walk, starting at 2.15 pm on Sunday 19th March, covering 5-1/2 miles over Rye Common, Dogmersfield Park and along the canal towpath back to Colt Hill. The going is flat and usually firm dependent on weather conditions.
On 16th April the meeting place is Ash Vale Station at 10.30am for a two stage walk down to Woking. The first leg is 5-1/2 miles down to Brookwood with a lunch stop at Lock 12 by Connaught Garage (Brookwood crossroads). (Those wishing lo finish here can return from Brookwood Station.) Newcomers can join the remainder of the walk (6 miles) down to Woking leaving Lock 12 at 2.00 pm approximately).
This will be an ideal opportunity lo join a party to see a varied length of the canal including the flights of locks at Deepcut and StJohns.
Also in April rambles leader Bill Homewood is organising a special walk for the Society's young members with a hobo theme.
For further information and full route plans send a sae to:
Bill Homewood, 4 Larch Close, Camberley, Surrey GU15 4DB. Tel: Camberlcy 61343 (evenings only).
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TRIP BOAT'S NEW SEASON
FOLLOWING the success of last year's pre-season public trips, the John Pinkerton will return to Ash Wharf for the four-day Easter holiday, 24th March to 27th March.
The full season starts on 29ih April extending to 8th October. This year the boat will be based at Coll Hill, Odiham, throughout the Season.
Public fares will remain at £2.00 per adult and £1.00 per child under the age of 16 years. But charter fees will be increased, ranging from £50.00 for senior citizens and school party trips booked on weekdays, to £115 for peak time Friday and Saturday evening bookings in July. Full details of the 1989 tariff is now available from the Bookings Manager, Tony Karavis (Tel: Farnborough 549037).
The boat's layout can be arranged to suit the charter party's requirements. Many groups like to bring food which they are welcome to do. But drinks must be supplied by the trip boat company.
The boat is currently in the Deepcut dry dock undergoing a winter refit.
Daytime crew organiser Mike Hammersley (left) with team members.
(Photo:D. Jebens/C. Durley)
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WOKING TALKS - Methodist Church Hall, Brewery Road, Woking. 7.30 for 7.45 pm (Please note start time to ensure we vacate the hall by 10.00pm).
Tuesday 24th January
Canal gossip and social evening in the lounge bar, Barley Mow, Winchfield.
Wednesday 8th February
Meeting in back room, Fox & Hounds pub, Fleet, to discuss formation of an association of boat owners on the Basingstoke Canal, 8.00pm. (See separate notice for details.)
Sunday 12th February
6-1/2 mile ramble over Hampshire countryside from Rye common to Well. Meet Colt Hill Car Park by the canal at Odiham at 10.30 am. Leader: Bill Homewood.
Monday 13th February
Restoration Madness - an illustrated talk by Ken Parish about the people and their antics when working with the Kent and East Sussex Canal Restoration Group.
Tuesday 28th February
Informal meeting for members and friends in the lounge bar, Barley Mow, Winchfield.
Monday 13th March
Cotswolds Canals - their past present and future. An illustrated talk by David Boakes (Secretary to the Stroudwater, Thames and Severn Canal Trust).
Monday 13th March*
Branch AGM and Waterways film show at Wey Cruising Club, Wharf Road, Guildford 7.30 for 8.00pm.
Sunday 19th March
5-1/2 mile ramble over Rye Common and Dogmersfield Park starting from Colt Hill, Odiham at 2.30pm. and returning along the towpath, Leader: Bill Homewood.
Tuesday 28th March
Join other members for a drink and a chat in the lounge bar, Barley Mow, Winchfield - the last meeting of the winter.
Monday 10th April
Germany - Belgium by Boat. Another enlightening and entertaining film by June and John Humphries of their cruises aboard 'Avonboy'.
Monday 10th April*
'National Waterways Museum' - a talk by the Gloucester Museum's curator, Tony Conder, at the Wey Cruising Club, Wharf Road, Guildford. 7.30 pm for 8.00 pm.
Sunday 16th April
Towpath ramble from Ash Vale - Brookwood -Woking starting from Ash Vale Station at 10.30 am. Leader: Bill Homewood.
(APOLOGY to the couple who went to "The Fox" Lower Bourne, Farnham, for the new members get-together last November. The hosts completely forgot the date until reminded late in the evening. Sorry to let you down!)
* Meetings of the Guildford and Reading branch of the Inland Waterways Association to which Society members are welcome.
Let's be Social
A reminder that Ginny Millard will co-ordinate your ideas and offers to organise and host just one event of your choice. Please phone her on 01-684 4209 (work) Ansaphone.
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NEW DEAL FOR HOUSEBOATS
THE number of canal-worthy houseboats at Woodham to be offered mooring licences in the future has been reduced to 22. These have all passed scrutiny by a marine inspector.
After dredging the length above Scotland Bridge, between lock 2 and 3, new services will be provided and all the remaining boats, including those at Arthurs Bridge will be accommodated there. The two boats currently moored above Hermitage Bridge will remain. The cost of the operation is estimated at £400,000. Houseboat dwellers who have not been granted long-term moorings will be compensated, and riparian local councils, especially Runnymede, have assisted by re-housing residents whose boats had become unsafe and beyond satisfactory repair.
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COACH TRIP TO GLOUCESTER
IWA GUILDFORD and Reading Branch invite you to join their coach trip to Gloucester on Sunday 14th March 1989. Coach leaves Guildford 9.00am picking up at Farnham, Fleet and Reading. Fare £7.50 per head includes admission to National Waterways Museum (sorry, no reduction for children/OAPs).
You will have approximately 4 hours in Gloucester, giving time to visit the Museum and docks, and/or city centre and cathedral. Return time at Guildford will be approx 7.00pm. Bookings to: Pat Perry-Barton, 'Segren', Grove Road, Beacon Hill, Hindhead, Surrey. Cheques payable to IWA Guildford and Reading Branch. Please advise your pick-up point and enclose SAE for tickets and details of timing. Telephone enquiries to Andy Simmonds, Guildford 576176.
In My View
Chobham Road Bridge, Woking, close to Brewery Road car park
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CANALSIDE WOKING by John Cole
MANY proposals and suggestions have been made about canalside locations in Woking. The site that attracts most attention is Brewery Road car park, although planning applications have been put forward for the Woking Victoria Hospital site, Brook House recreational ground and the Vale Farm Road area. Successful canalside features have been achieved at Arthur's Bridge - The Bridge Barn Restaurant and an adjoining housing development with winding hole.
Two particularly relevant ideas put forward for Brewery Road car park have been proposed by the Society and by Woking Borough Council respectively. In the latter case, the ideas were put forward as a 'Planning Brief (a guide for developers) in 1986. Little interest has been shown by commercial interests until 1988, and then in a much diluted form showing more commercial developments and little canal facility.
It is often suggested that Woking Borough Council develop either the Brewery Road or Victoria Hospital sites. It is true that the Council do own Brewery Road car park (the hospital site belongs to the Health Authority but is shortly to be offered for sale). The practical problems preventing a Council project are enormous. The replacement cost of a single car space in Woking is estimated to be in excess of £8,000. Pressures on parking in the Town Centre area make replacement essential. The cost of providing structural facilities such as an art gallery/heritage centre are considerable. Provision of a canal basin would be very costly and Surrey County Council claimed not to be able to help financially when approached in the past. The estimated market value of Town Centre land was given a £lm per acre in 1988. That puts the car park at £2.2m. A valuable piece of properly.
Who pays for development? The Council does not have that sort of cash. And even if the cash were available, Government restrictions would
prevent the Council spending the money.
What are the alternatives to achieve suitable canalside facilities? It would seem to suggest that only two main choices are left:- 1) Sponsorship -finding local firms or agencies willing to contribute most of the cost, or 2) 'Planning Gain' - allowing some form of commercial development, but insisting that the developer provide adequate canal facilities as part of the deal. The prospects of finding sponsorship for the cost of the Society's proposals for the site seem rather slim - unless a major appeal could be launched.
Planning Gain could be the only viable option. The latest application at the time of writing is by Select Hotels for high density housing and a pub/restaurant with some retail units (shops) to finance some canalside features. The application does provide for retention of all public car parking spaces, but in a three level arrangement. The canal features are minimal with some moorings and what appears to be no more than a winding hole.
Other applications have been made and rejected by Woking Borough Council. All were for hotels and none offered substantial canal works. All would have resulted in a loss of parking. One scheme did offer a compromise, but at a risk of gross overcrowding on the site.
It might have been possible in the past to have achieved a compromise development with the plans for the new 'Peacocks' shopping development opposite the car park but on the other side of the dual carriageway. But that application is now at an advanced stage of planning. The developer has offered to provide a footbridge over the road to the Brewery Road car park.
Where do we go from here? Do any members have ideas on how to achieve a suitable scheme that would provide a balance between canal interests, the needs and protection of local residents yet attract sufficient commercial interest? Answers on a postcard addressed to The Chief Executive, Woking Borough Council c/o The Editor, BC News.
OUR member Mr. G.E. Weddell has asked about the function of the Nature Conservancy Council and how it operates. The following may help to clarify.
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NATURE CONSERVANCY COUNCIL (NCC) describes itself as 'a body responsible for advising Government on nature conservation in Great Britain. Its work includes the selection, establishment and management of National Nature Reserves; the selection and management of Marine Nature Reserves; the identification and notification of Sites of Special Scientific Interest; the provision of advice and dissemination of knowledge about nature conservation, and the support and conduct of research relevant to these functions'.
The NCC is a Government quango, currently funded to the tune of £43 million, responsible to the Department of the Environment.
Its Director General is Timothy Hornsby and its headquarters are at Northminster House, Peterborough PE11UA. The NCC also has a network of regional offices.
Anyone wishing to raise questions of policy or make their view known would probably do best to write to their Member of Parliament.
SITE OF SPECIAL SCIENTIFIC INTEREST (SSSI) are designated by the NCC to protect features of our countryside and wildlife habitats which are considered to be worthy of conservation from the threat of wilful or accidental destruction by harmful use, management or development.
In fact SSSIs have existed since the 1949 National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act, but were not effectively administrated. During the past 20 years a growing number of nations have become aware of our dependence on our natural environment and its erosion by urbanisation and modern farming methods. The British Government joined other countries in drawing up international agreements and EEC Directives to protect wildlife.
For our part new legislation was required which promoted the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act part of which is devoted to SSSIs (the canal had
several) and re-notification under the Act. Local naturalist groups often assist with this work.
Once the NCC is satisfied with the merit of designating an SSSI it will issue a citation informing the Secretary of State, the relevant local planning authority and the landowner or occupier.
Sites are protected from the moment a citation is received although the owner or occupier has three months in which to raise objections. And the NCC must either confirm or withdraw a notification within nine months of informing the Secretary of State.
POTENTIALLY DAMAGING OPERATIONS (PDOs). When SSSIs are designated the owners or occupiers are told what sort of operation would damage the site. Should they wish to undertake a PDO they must inform the NCC and obtain written permission. If a user goes ahead regardless, he is liable to a fine of up to £1,000 and may be ordered to restore the 'damage'.
If no agreement is reached the operation can proceed unless the NCC is successful in persuading the Secretary of State to issue a Nature Conservation Order which prevents the landowner or occupier and other users from undertaking a PDO for 12 months while the problem is resolved, or the land purchased.
In practice the NCC invariably negotiates a management agreement with the SSSI occupier which spells out how and when PDOs can be undertaken to avoid the administrative nightmare of seeking written consent for every PDO.
Hampshire and Surrey County Councils have already been sent a draft list of PDOs that the NCC will seek to apply to the Basingstoke Canal when it is declared an SSSI.
The two contentious PDOs are (1) 'Use of vehicles or craft likely to damage or disturb features of interest', and (2) 'Recreation or other activities likely to damage or disturb features of interest'.
Because motor boating is seen as PDO and will be a developing and continuous activity, the NCC will be anxious to seek agreement to a limit in the number of licences available at the outset.
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BATS OWN TUNNEL AT GREYWELL?
RUSHMOOR Councillor Ben Franklin, who is on the Canal's Joint Management Committee, thought he had come up with a unique idea when he contacted the Society and asked if anyone had thought of building a tunnel exclusively for bats.
"Yes," we responded, "the construction of a special bat tunnel at Greywell has been suggested and in fact one or two have been constructed elsewhere in the Country using pre-cast concrete pipes."
That we thought was the end of Councillor Franklin's idea until later the same day when he phoned again. "Right", he said "I've got you 70ft of 6ft diameter concrete pipe. Now you can build a
tunnel for the bats at Greywell..."
Cllr Franklin had contacted Mr. John Card, Managing Director of Hume Pipes of Alton who offered to supply him 8ft long concrete pipes valued at £4,000 free of charge.
A Society member has suggested constructing a bat tunnel in an old chalk pit behind the Fox and Goose which could be connected with the navigation tunnel nearby (see BC News 137 January 1988).
All we now need is someone to volunteer to take on the construction project.
How about it members of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Naturalist Trust? You provide the expertise and the Society will appeal for some willing workers.
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WEY Navigation Festival, organised by the Guildford and Reading Branch of the IWA will be held at Guildford on 8th and 9th July to mark the 25th Anniversary of the National Trust's ownership. Full details to follow.
SOUVENIR brochure containing 36 photos and text published to mark re-opening of Lock One restored by IWA members. 450 copies, limited edition, individually numbered, tells the story of the restoration project. Price £1.30 incl. p&p. Cheques payable to IWA Guildford and Reading Branch, to Ray Carnell, 23 Scillonian Road, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 5PS.
HORSELL residents in the vicinity of Hospital Bridge are trying to keep the canal clear to Chertsey Road Bridge. They've already organised two working parties and hope to extend their coverage to Brewery Road car park and Spanton's former timber wharf eastwards.
140 NEW members joined the Society between March and November last year.
FOR the past 12 years Mr. Peter Fraser has provided Exhibitions Manager, Phil Pratt, free use of a garage at Weybridge for storage of Society Material. Our grateful thanks to him - Peter Fraser owns the shop called 'Jeans' in Church Path, Woking, so next time you need a pair of jeans visit his shop. And thanks to Mrs. Barbara Yeoman of Pyrford for offering Phil use of a garage at Pyrford.
RAFFLE prizes needed for draws at Woking Socials. If you have suitable items please ring Ginny Millard on 01 684 4209. (Ansaphone - be prepared!)
PLEASE remember BC News advertisers.
EVENTS committee is seeking recruits to join the team and help organise and run boat rallies and other Society events. For more details and offers to help ring: Vic Trott on Woking 68607.
WILLING person wanted to help serve refreshments at Woking social evenings. Everything provided, we just need your help. Phone Ginny Millard on 01 684 4209 and leave your name and phone number on her Ansaphone if necessary.
BEST wishes to Alf Hughes recuperating after an operation. Alf, a retired fitter at the RAE, has been a familiar figure at Hampshire's Ash Lock depot helping out as a voluntary handyman and lock keeper.
GOOD wishes also go to Lord Sandford, a Vice-President of the Society, who is in hospital recovering from a stroke. We hope he will soon be well enough to be allowed home.
MISSING Gallons! A slip of the pen in 'Comment' BC News 142reduced canal's daily water supply from 3 million gallons to 3,000. After natural water 'wastage' this is just sufficient for 16 lock workings.
SAD to see that test case over River Derwent navigation rights has been lost. The case brought by the Yorkshire Derwent Trust, with the IWA's backing, may now go to appeal. Costs may now be as high as £200,000. This is believed to exceed the total cost of restoring the river to navigation.
DON'T lose your chance to win cash prizes in the '200 Club' Monthly Draw. Renewal subs are now due and new members welcome. Contact Derek Truman, Compton Cottage, 11 Connaught Road, Fleet, Hants. GU13 9RA (0252 613435).
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COPY DATE FOR MARCH 1989 BC NEWS: 30th JANUARY 1989
Published by the Surrey and Hampshire Canal Society Ltd., a non-profit distributing company limited by guarantee, registered as a Charity. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the Society.
Editor. Dieter Jebens. Production. Jo Evans. Collation & Distribution. Janet and George Hedger, Edwin Chappell and Helpers.
Editorial Office. 60 Middlebourne Lane, Farnham, Surrey, GU10 3NJ (0252 715230)
Chairman. Robin Higgs, 18 Barnsford Crescent, West End, Woking, Surrey, GU24 9HX. (09905 7314)
Vice-Chairman. David Millett, 14 Dinorben Close, Fleet, Hampshire, GU13 9SW. (0252 617364)
Hon. Treasurer. Mrs. Gwyneth Browne, 102a Aldershot Road, Fleet, Hampshire GUIS 9NY. (0252 621745)
Hon. Secretary. Philip Riley, Meadow Vale, Guildford Road, Normandy, Surrey, GU3 2AS. (0483 234776)
Membership Secretary. Mike Fellows, 30 Reynards Close, Winnersh, Wokingham, Berks. RG11 5NT. (0734 787428)
Working Party Organiser. Mike Fellows, 30 Reynards Close, Winnersh, Wokingham, Berks. RG11 5NT. (0734 787428)
Dredger Manager. Roger Flitter, 10 George Road, Fleet, Hampshire, GU13 9PS. (0252 622956)
Working Party Information. Peter Jones, 54 Wharf Road, Ash Vale, Aldershot, Hampshire, GU12 SAY. (0252 313076)
Peter Cooper, 5 Addison Court, Oakley Avenue, Baling, London W5. (01 993 1105)
Trip Boat. Tony Karavis, 12 Loddon Road, Farnborough, Hampshire, GU14 9NT. (0252 54903
Sales Manager. Situation Vacant
Talks Organiser. Mrs Janet Greenfield, 9 Mistletoe Road, Yateley, Surrey, GU17 7DT. (0252 873167)
Exhibitions Manager. Phil Pratt, Flat 5, Fleetwood Court, Madeira Road, West Byfleet, Surrey, KT14 6BE. (09323 40281)
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