Environment Committee

Latest Environment Committee Agenda Pack

Please note the meeting’s agenda will be available (from the above hyperlink) three clear days before a meeting of the Town Council.

Please note that the meeting will be preceded by a Public Session in accordance with Standing Orders 3.e and 3.f, which will last for a maximum of 15 minutes. Members of the public can attend the meeting in person. The Council is trialling the use of video conferencing to enable the public and guests to address Council meetings virtually. If you would like to address the meeting in this way, please email committeeclerk@buckingham-tc.gov.uk or call 01280 816426 for details.

The meeting can be watched live on the Town Council’s YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC89BUTwVpjAOEIdSlfcZC9Q/

Environment Committee

Latest Environment Committee Agenda Pack

Please note the meeting’s agenda will be available (from the above hyperlink) three clear days before a meeting of the Town Council.

Please note that the meeting will be preceded by a Public Session in accordance with Standing Orders 3.e and 3.f, which will last for a maximum of 15 minutes. Members of the public can attend the meeting in person. The Council is trialling the use of video conferencing to enable the public and guests to address Council meetings virtually. If you would like to address the meeting in this way, please email committeeclerk@buckingham-tc.gov.uk or call 01280 816426 for details.

The meeting can be watched live on the Town Council’s YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC89BUTwVpjAOEIdSlfcZC9Q/

Buckingham’s River Great Ouse is on the way to Recovery Thanks to Regular Monitoring

The river Great Ouse running through Buckingham’s town centre is showing very promising signs of recovery, thanks to regular river invertebrate (riverfly) monitoring, now taking place by local River Wardens!

The River Warden group (initially formed in late 2019), in response to the devastating pollution incident in 2018 with the support from Buckingham Town Council and the Environment Agency, have now been trained to take monthly samples of the river. The training occurred on 18th July 2021, by an accredited Riverfly Training Instructor:

“It was brilliant to deliver a Riverfly Partnership Workshop in Chandos Park on Sunday and to be able to support the hugely valuable River warden scheme following your devastating pollution incident, the interest in the river and awareness of the park visitors was really inspiring.” - Ian Hawkins, East Anglian Riverfly Hub Coordinator

This training as part of the Anglers’ Riverfly Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) which is hosted by the Freshwater Biological Association (FBA), allows these newly trained Riverfly Monitors to score the health of the river, based on the presence and abundance of specific riverfly target groups. This ultimately aims to improve existing river monitoring in the local area and help detect and deter future pollution incidents.

"I thoroughly enjoyed the Riverfly monitoring training session, after studying the theory it was lovely to put it into practice.  The session involved taking samples from the river, identifying and separating the indicator species and finally counting them before returning them to the river." – Ruth Newell (River Warden)

 Riverflies consist of caddisflies, stoneflies and mayflies which live most of their lives as larvae on the bed of rivers, emerging as short-lived adult flies. Acting as a biological indicators of river health, and being very sensitive or even intolerant of pollution, these invertebrates respond very quickly to pollution. Through this regular monitoring, trigger levels can be set, so that if they were to fall below the set threshold for this site, it would raise the alert of poor water quality.

During the training workshops, six of the eight indicator target groups were found in good numbers, demonstrating very promising river health and recovery. These included excellent numbers of olives (Baetidae), which are a family of small fast-swimming mayfly larvae, often called ‘agile darters’, along with abundant Gammarus (freshwater shrimp). There were decent numbers of larger burrowing mayflies (Ephemeridae) which are powerful 3-tailed swimmers that burrow into silt, good numbers of cased caddisfly larvae (Tricoptera), which make tube-like cases from stones, grains and plant material, along with the occasional caseless caddis.

Of greatest interest though were the several blue winged olives found (Ephemerellidae), which are particularly sensitive to pollution, demonstrating that the river health is surprisingly good. A stone loach fish was also recorded which was a species not re-stocked by the Environment Agency since the pollution event.

“This is certainly very encouraging news indeed, that given the chance, the river system can be quite resilient and is able to bounce back to its former health following such a catastrophic pollution incident just three years prior. Presence of all these invertebrates will not only provide food for fish, mammals, birds, and bats, but will also reassure the residents of Buckingham that their local river is healthy and safe.” - River Warden Coordinator, Ruth Coxon from The Conservation Volunteers (TCV).

The Buckingham & Gawcott Charitable Trust have made this training possible, by funding the riverfly training workshops and equipment needed for continued monitoring.

A public presentation of the cheque was made by Trust Chairman Councillor Robin Stuchbury during the morning training session on Sunday 18th July at Chandos Park, which turned out to be one of the hottest days of the year so far.

“It was great to see such interest from the public also enjoying the space at Chandos park with many passers-by, including young children, often showing an interest in the group’s activities, and asking what we were doing. Most were aware of the pollution incident 3 years ago and were pleased to hear that the river was recovering well.” - River Warden Coordinator, Ruth Coxon

Now trained up, the River Warden Group will be able to conduct monthly riverfly monitoring and input the results as publicly accessible data to the Riverfly Partnership’s online database. Monitoring efforts here will hopefully deter future acts of pollution and keep the river clean, healthy and thriving with wildlife for years to come.

“Riverfly sampling is an incredibly important tool in monitoring the river for water quality and in these days when the Environment Agency are under financial pressure with reduced ability to monitor water quality as they would have in the past. It is local volunteers who are needed to fill that space. If anyone is interested in joining I am sure that Ruth Coxon would welcome them and hopefully a number of further sampling sites can be created and monitored along the river to demonstrate the remarkable resilience and recovery of the river and to keep watch and report quickly any future incident of pollution.” Ian Hawkins, East Anglian Riverfly Hub Coordinator.

The River Warden group look forward to seeing how the health of the river improves. For more information about The Conservation Volunteers and the wide range of projects occurring nationally, please visit: https://www.tcv.org.uk.

Environment Committee

Latest Environment Committee Agenda Pack

Please note the meeting’s agenda will be available (from the above hyperlink) three clear days before a meeting of the Town Council.

Please note that the meeting will be preceded by a Public Session in accordance with Standing Orders 3.e and 3.f, which will last for a maximum of 15 minutes. Members of the public can attend the meeting in person. The Council is trialling the use of video conferencing to enable the public and guests to address Council meetings virtually. If you would like to address the meeting in this way, please email committeeclerk@buckingham-tc.gov.uk or call 01280 816426 for details.

The meeting can be watched live on the Town Council’s YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC89BUTwVpjAOEIdSlfcZC9Q/

Environment Working Group 14th June and Communications Strategy Working Group 10th June

Last night the Environment Working Group met, amongst other matters the following was discussed:

  • Cllr. Warren Whyte as Chair and Cllr. Anja Schaefer appointed as Vice-Chair of the Environment Working Group for 2021/22.
  • Street lighting – Members agreed for a consultation and review of Buckingham’s streetlights to explore putting in extra illumination.
  • The first Draft of the Community Flood Response Plan was noted and Members will seek to establish a Working Group after the publication of Buckinghamshire Council’s Section 19 report.
  • The Estates Team are researching options for commissioning a Holocaust Memorial Stone in Bourton Park
  • Members agreed to support the proposal to set up a repair café in Buckingham.
    Office Recycling facilities to be setup in all Town council premises

Last week the Communications Strategy Working Group met to discuss:

  • Cllr. Jon Harvey was selected as Chair and Cllr. Martin Try as Vice-Chair of the Communications Strategy Working Group for 2021/22.
  • Progress with the Summer 2021 newsletter and content for the Autumn 2021 edition.
  • Progress on developing the Town Council website and ideas for it’s improvement.
  • Annual statistical reports.
  • The purchase of additional signage to advertise Summer events.

Environment Committee

Latest Environment Committee Agenda Pack

Please note the meeting’s agenda will be available (from the above hyperlink) three clear days before a meeting of the Town Council.

Please note that the meeting will be preceded by a Public Session in accordance with Standing Orders 3.e and 3.f, which will last for a maximum of 15 minutes. Members of the public can attend the meeting in person. The Council is trialling the use of video conferencing to enable the public and guests to address Council meetings virtually. If you would like to address the meeting in this way, please email committeeclerk@buckingham-tc.gov.uk or call 01280 816426 for details.

The meeting can be watched live on the Town Council’s YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC89BUTwVpjAOEIdSlfcZC9Q/

Quick Litter Pick

We’ve all had moments where we’ve spotted the littered remnants of someone’s night before and wanted to just get stuck in and clear it up. This year has been no different, and Buckingham Town Council has received requests from residents and community groups asking how best they can get involved in safely clearing any litter they find while out and about.

When you’re dealing with someone else’s rubbish the best way to clear up litter is with litter pickers. Keeping the litter at a distance from your body can protect you from broken edges and any unwanted germs that might be lurking.

As only the most dedicated of litter hunters tend to carry around litter pickers at all times, the Town Council has introduced Buckingham’s first #QuickLitterPick point. This covered cage in Bourton Park contains 5 individual litter pickers and a supply of bin liners and can be accessed by anyone with the code for the lock. (Anyone who would like the code can call the Town Council Office or Buckingham Tourist Information Centre during opening hours).

Cllr. Sue Hetherington has already been out to have a go and said: ”The Quick Litter Pick is a great idea, it was easy to use and we had really positive reactions from the people we met while using the litter pickers. Everyone was keen to have a go! This project was originally started with previous Chair of the Environment Committee Ruth Newell, I’d like to send her a big thank you.” The Quick Litter Pick point can be found near the Bourton Park Car Park and Multi-Use Games Area in Buckingham.

This year Buckingham Town Council have taken a multi-pronged approach to getting litter under control, including more regular park bin emptying and raising awareness of the problem, particularly of broken glass which can easily cause harm to children and animals.

Environment Committee

Latest Environment Committee Agenda Pack

Please note the meeting’s agenda will be available (from the above hyperlink) three clear days before a meeting of the Town Council.

Please note that the meeting will be preceded by a Public Session in accordance with Standing Orders 3.e and 3.f, which will last for a maximum of 15 minutes. Members of the public can attend the meeting in person. The Council is trialling the use of video conferencing to enable the public and guests to address Council meetings virtually. If you would like to address the meeting in this way, please email committeeclerk@buckingham-tc.gov.uk or call 01280 816426 for details.

The meeting can be watched live on the Town Council’s YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC89BUTwVpjAOEIdSlfcZC9Q/

Environment Committee

Latest Environment Committee Agenda Pack

Please note the meeting’s agenda will be available (from the above hyperlink) three clear days before a meeting of the Town Council.

Please note that the meeting will be preceded by a Public Session in accordance with Standing Orders 3.e and 3.f, which will last for a maximum of 15 minutes. Members of the public can attend the meeting in person. The Council is trialling the use of video conferencing to enable the public and guests to address Council meetings virtually. If you would like to address the meeting in this way, please email committeeclerk@buckingham-tc.gov.uk or call 01280 816426 for details.

The meeting can be watched live on the Town Council’s YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC89BUTwVpjAOEIdSlfcZC9Q/

River Rinse

The first river rinse of this year  will be between Cornwalls Meadow car park and Chandos park. We will be meeting at the bridge in Cornwalls Meadow car park at 10:15am.

Volunteers are not required to go in the river. You will be issued with a litter picker, gloves and rubbish sacks.

This project takes place with the help of Stowe Sub Aqua Club.