Time flies! It’s a month since the Save The River Thame seminar in Aylesbury and progress has been gradual because it’s the holiday season, and everyone (including me) has been or is on holiday. This is not a problem as we are into a long-term project to secure a permanent improvement in the River Thame and its wildlife. It seems to be in quite good condition currently following the major sewage works upgrade by Thames Water and is running clear. I have seen some small fish in it, and lots of banded demoiselles, but no large fish, frogs, other dragonflies: that will take time.
I have had one meeting with a land owner, Keith McCullagh, who is going to work with me on setting up the Working Group, and we’ve decided on the priorities for getting things going. We are having a meeting with the River Thame Conservation Trust (RTCT) on Aug 21st and hope to agree on how we will work closely together to achieve our common aims. The RTCT has funds and one employee, Andrew Callender who is being paid for by Thames Water I think. He will be the linchpin of the project, acting as coordinator and manager. We already starting thinking about how to set up water quality monitoring.
Save The River Thame is focused on the Aylesbury Vale section of the river, from above Aylesbury to the town of Thame, and we hope to work within the RTCT, being part of it with a local focus and sharing expertise and resources. Keith is strong in fund raising and we hope to pay our way through public subscription. One of our main priorities will be communications – letting people know about the river, promoting interest in it, and getting people involved in its conservation. We also hope to continue our relationship with the media (Bucks Herald, Thame Gazette and BBC local radio South Today TV News) in order to get our message out.
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