Loddon Basin Flood Action Group

LVRA Forum on Flooding Issues

Loddon Basin Flood Action Group

Postby Phiala » Sat Jun 13, 2015 10:07 am

LVRA's flood partnership meetings have expanded to work towards a more catchment view. Below are the minutes for the March meeting and the June minutes will follow shortly. The objective of the groups is to raise funds to facilitate flood mitigation projects.

Loddon Basin Flood Action Group
Meeting summary notes for LBFAG meeting on Friday 13th March 2015

In attendance:
Joanna Clark – Reading University
Eddie Napper – Wokingham Borough Council (WBC)
Julia Greene – WBC
Lee Atkins – Swallowfield Flood Resilience Group
Charles Sanderson – Henley, Shiplake, Sonning and Wargrave Flood Action Group
Martin Moore – Loddon Fisheries Conservation Consultative
Phiala Mehring – Loddon Valley Residents Association
Natalie Ford, Paul St Pierre, Ian Stretton and Jonathan Ramsey – Environment Agency
Paul Prowting, Flood and Water Investigations Officer – Hampshire County council

(1) Terms of reference
CS initiated the conversation by saying that the fundamental issue of ‘funding’ was missing from the terms of reference and from the proposed structure of the group. If the aims of the group are to facilitate flood mitigation projects then we need to hold and distribute funds, potentially underwriting projects. The group discussed this and it was agreed that we need to become a charity.

The group agreed that to run the activities of LVFAG we need to look at employing someone to manage and develop funding and projects.

CS to investigate how the group can set itself up as a charity and find an accountant who can get us going.
JG to check what WBC can do in terms of support.
PM to check what charity status means and what limitations there on in terms of lobbying.
LA to investigate whether funding could be garnered through a precept/parish rate
NM to establish how many properties are in the Loddon Catchment in order to determine what a precept could generate.

(2) LA and MM to report back from the main Catchment Group
LA read through the minutes from the previous Catchment group meeting in particular terms of reference. LA also mentioned was that the group are looking a setting up a SuD’s workshop to establish best practice.

LA suggested that we rotate who sits on these meetings.

There was a brief discussion about the creation of a ‘useful contacts’ database for both the Catchment Group and LBFAG to use.

JC and PM to work on creating a useful contacts database (now meeting on March 30th).

(3) LA and CS reports on the two projects they are working
LA and CS discussed in detail a number of projects that the group should be looking to implement. PM asked PSP whether these types of projects where already happening in the catchment. PSP responded ‘no’ and that it is exactly these types of projects with flood mitigation objectives and positive environmental/biodiversity benefits that should be happening in the catchment.

The group needs to create a list of projects through out the catchment. 15 of these schemes (as discussed above) along the Loddon Catchment would greatly benefit flood risk management.

The list so far
(1) Herons wood
(2) St Patricks Stream
(3) Swallowfield.
(4) Using reed beds to help tackle sewage coming directly from sewage farms

Reading University to monitor impacts of the Swallowfield projects.

The group needs to monitor and track all project closely to enable us to create a detailed understanding is what works, what doesn’t, best practice, best outcomes, etc.

EN establish who to contact in Buckskin about water being pumped into the Loddon in the 13/14 events.

NF to talk to Susie Elliott (?) her counterpart in the upper regions of the catchment and involve her in the group. This will enable to group to look for upper catchment projects.

(4) Reading university to report - JA reported the following to the group:
a. Ecosystem Services Mapping Project – Joanna to email the draft maps around the group for comment. The project was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and is due to end Easter 2015. Maps represent the best available information we could produce in the time given data availability. There are plans to continue to improve these over the coming years through various student and research projects.
b. BSc/MSc dissertation student projects – 8 students doing BSc and MSc projects in the Loddon in 2015. Dissertations are 40 credits for BSc (400 hours) and 60 credits for MSc (600 hours). Interested in Water Quality, changes in rainfall run off relationships, (Hannah) social side of flooding, preparing for floods, psychological impact of flooding and the impact of different soil types and organic amendments (e.g. farm yard manure, biochar, sludge etc) on increasing soil water storage capacity and associated impacts on leaching of pollutants (e.g. phosphates, nitrates etc). We have an annual call for dissertation projects in December each year. Please get in touch with JC if you’d like to propose a project. JC to work with CS and PM and involvement in some of the projects.
c. Loddon Catchment Consultants Module – second year module starting in September. 20 credits (200 hours) run over Autumn and Spring Terms. Students will work in groups on problems/questions identified by LBFAG and Loddon Catchment Partnership. Outputs will be a presentation and a web-based technical report. Minimum level of participation is presenting your problem to students at the initial briefing meeting in October and attending presentations in Spring Term. Please contact JC if you are interested in developing a project. JC can work with you to formulate a brief at an appropriate level for Part 2 students. JC to work with JG, CS and PM for some of the projects.
d. Other planned research proposals that LBFAG could get involved with informally or formally as project partners by providing letters of support –
i. Valuing water storage. The current proposal is to identify opportunities to ‘store water’ using natural processes, quantify the amount of water stored, estimate how much this is worth and identify potential mechanisms for payment. This project follows on from the Mapping Ecosystem Services work and includes the same team. Alison Bailey will lead project development. JC and HC will be involved. It is envisaged that this proposal will be submitted to NERC Valuing Nature programme. Details of the call will be announced later this year.
ii. Mapping cultural services. Following on from the workshop on 3rd May, we’re planning to develop systems to capture views of all residents within the Loddon about the things they value about the countryside. Simon Mortimer will lead this project, JC and HC are part of the wider project team.
iii. Virtual Catchment Laboratory (VCL). Proposal currently being developed for a web-based tool to visualise data from a range of source and explore different management scenarios using cloud-based models. Two specific projects in mind are (i) visualisation of flood risk by linking EA data for river level with model outputs of flood extent and (ii) integrating EA data with the flood model Tuflow to enable the impact of different land management scenarios on flood risk to be explored. This proposal will be submitted to the NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellowship call, and is led by Barbara Percy (software developer). JC and HC will have some input. JC will be in touch asking for letters of support shortly.

(5) Mapping of the catchment.
This is something that the University of Reading are already doing. This lead into a discussion about the group having a website. JA recommended going for a lottery grant to fund this as part of a wider project. There would need to be a community element in order to get funding. Lottery unlikely to fund flood mitigation measures directly that fall within the responsibility of other authorities.

Need to investigate lottery funding. JC to contact colleagues at Reading currently working on the Lottery funded Big Whitley Project to ask for advice.

(6) AOB
MM briefly discussed the EA’s ‘living on the edge’ document and told the group that he may approach individual members to be involved.
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