The ongoing task of keeping the Leat watercourse clear of unwanted debris and excessive growth continued apace on Monday and Tuesday 22nd/23rd August. Some of the residents joined a number of volunteers and outside agencies to remove close to 50 dumpy bags of green waste. This was another mammoth effort in continuation of the terrific work recently undertaken by residents at the western end of Brookside to the foot of Cox Hill. On this occasion the team completed the Brookside stretch and continued all the way along to the Grille at Station Road.
So who formed this team and where did they all come from? Well, in addition to several villagers (notably David Firth, Rob Pippin, Tony Murley, Sue and Sam Reed and lastly Paul Shevlin), Adam Nicholls (Tregothnan Estates) brought in the services of ‘Celtic Clearance’ who supplied the essential mechanical hardware (i.e. chain saws, strimmers, etc. – all were certainly needed near the old methodist chapel), task awareness and bulk waste disposal capability. Adam also contacted the good people of Robert Owen Communities (ROC) Boscawen Farm at Blackwater to see if they wanted to revisit the site they worked so hard on 18 months previously. Only too pleased to help and under the direction of Mr Les Hosking, the spirit of the ROC team and their willingness to get stuck in proved invaluable and the difference they made is clear for all to see. Vikki Bendle from Business in the Community (The Prince’s Responsible Business Network) also lent an additional pair of hands and finally we managed to get hold of some essential hand tools and safety equipment by booking the Cormac Community Tool Trailer. Sustained with refreshments by Gill Knill and sausage rolls donated by Chacewater Bakery, everyone played their part in what was truly fabulous couple of days of community activity that has made a real difference. So a huge thanks to one and all on behalf of everyone in Chacewater village for a job well done.
ROC Boscawen Farm, which offers a farm based day service work experience and training for people with a learning difficulty: 01872 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Cormac Tool Trailer which provides a plethora of tools and safety equipment to enable community clean/clear up schemes: Rebecca Dickson at email@example.com
Celtic Clearance for your bulk green waste disposal: 01872 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rural Business Connector – Vikki Bendle: 07833 236899/Vikki.Bendle@bitcconnect.rog
The lessons identified were two basic points. First, if every householder living along the course of the Leat was able to give just two hours a year (an hour in April and another in September) to maintaining their stretch of the Leat, then there would be no real need to gather so many volunteers each year. Secondly, were we all able to just look over our fences to see the negative impact that unwanted garden waste or litter has in terms of blocking sections of the watercourse, perhaps we might think twice about what we are all doing. The amount of litter collected in late August was simply staggering and reflects badly on us all as a community. However, most of this litter was old, so it seems we are at least trying to reverse the current trend in this area.
So what next? Historically, we know the Autumn/Winter period is the most challenging in terms of likely flood waters (not that this Summer has been exactly dry!) so the Flood Working Group will be looking at the grips and drains on Cox Hill as well as along the High Street towards Scorrier. It will be focusing on two specific Public Rights of Way – opposite Thornleigh Cottage (Cox Hill) and near Salem (High Street) – as these appear to be specific areas of excess water flow during periods of heavy rainfall that undoubtedly impacts on the village. There is a need to revisit the stretch of Leat from Buckingham Nip to the west entrance to the Terrace and experiment with black membrane to see if the weeds can be kept more effectively at bay along its base. We will also be asking Cory to undertake a good roadsweep of known sycamore leaf fall areas in mid November. Finally, a representative from the village will attend the next Cornwall Community Flood Forum at Truro Town Hall (6th October) to see if we can learn more from other water management bodies.