Mike and I were watching the grayling that seems to be resident just off Long Bridge. You can see her/him any time the water is clear. A couple of people stopped to watch with us and today we saw two of them. Just look at the two large flat rocks downstream of the bridge and we can almost guarantee you’ll see a fish.
Some of you may have noticed the rotting carcass of a calf caught by a log in the river just below the Halfpenny bridge. We called the Environment Agency Hotline and their response was that they don’t come out for only 1 animal! Apparently you must need a whole herd of dead cattle in the water before they will respond. They suggested we notify the town council who suggested that we wait for a good rain.
Vaynor steps completed
The slippery and treacherous footpath down to the river has now been replaced with a set of safe steps, thanks to the efforts of Walking Newtown. It is now easier for all to access the river.
Some weeks ago Joan Avery reported sewage smells coming from the Severn by the new construction at the old Boys and Boden site. We reported it and a couple of days ago the Natural Resources Wales called again to say they’ve reported it to Severn Trent. They didn’t find sewage when they investigated but they have noticed stuff going into the river that should not be there. Severn Trent should investigate eventually but in the meantime, NRW asked us to report immediately if anyone sees or smells anything unusual again. The hotline, which we should all have in our mobiles, is 0800807060.
Last week Joan reported that the stream running into the Severn near Canal Rd and Sycamore Drive was a peculiar colour from discharge. Tonight when Mike and I were walking by there was a strong smell of sewage at the stream. We decided that with these two incidents it was worth a report to Natural Resources Wales. So we called the 0800 807060 number from our mobile, and talked with a real human being (after pressing 4 for Wales)! The answering service got hold of someone in Cardiff who called back quite quickly. Because of all the gas works in the area, he suggested his first action should probably be to contact Wales and West Utilities and Severn Trent to see if the problem was already known. They might have gone through another sewage pipe. After all, they did puncture ours while working in Golwgydre Lane. If not, someone will be sent out tomorrow to investigate.
We will keep you in touch. If anyone else smells anything in the meantime, please let us know.
The RSC will undertake to do a full year survey of birds along the river. So far several members have signed up to participate so we will wait a little longer and then set up an initial meeting to kick the project off.
If you are interested in taking part, please contact us (Mike or Paula) to let us know you’ll be joining in. It should be interesting and rewarding.
If you are able, please join us and Keep Wales Tidy on a clean up of the river and river banks on Monday 15th September. We meet at 10 am at the Halfpenny bridge. Bring along wellies and hip waders if you have them. If you have chest waders, please let the secretary know, as you will need to be supplied with a flotation device. We can’t imagine the river will warrant such extreme wellies though!
If you would like to participate, but don’t fancy a dip, please come along and help with picking up litter on the banks. It will only take a couple of hours or so and is lots of fun.
Note to Blog Master. We had to add wellies to the dictionary. It kept changing the spelling to willies.
The results are in from the survey conducted at the Food Festival of what amenities people would like to see on the river. See the results under Projects on the web site. We’ve revamped the Projects page too. It was getting unwieldy so we hope it is now more user friendly. Let us know your thoughts on it.
Check the RSC web site under “Projects” for the latest results of our survey of the river. Almost 1000 people in total were counted over our two days.
The second day of the river use survey was even better attended than the first. Great weather again and lots of people out and about on the river. Great job by everyone. Keep an eye on the web site under “Projects” for results. We hope to get them out soon. Russ took this photo of us at the briefing.
We’ve collated the data from Saturday’s survey of river users. In a 2 hour period on a pleasant summer day 453 people and 77 dogs were out an about at our 7 survey sites, proving how much we in Newtown love our stretch of the Severn. Of these, 21% were cyclists. See the detailed results on our web site under RSC projects.
While doing our river fly larvae sample this month we caught this small fish. Peter the angler, one of our members, identified it as follows:
a Stone Loach, probably a female, as the tail stripes are more pronounced.
The fish is a night feeder, with barbels on its mouth to assist in finding food. It likes stony streams, and won’t tolerate pollution.
The RSC were out in force along the river today surveying the people who use the river. It was a sterling effort on the part of all those who participated. We have to collect some of the data from the surveyors and then begin the job of collating it all. Participants claimed they found it interesting and all we spoke to thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
We are going out again next Saturday so if you missed out this week you can join in next Saturday at 10 am at the halfpenny bridge. Contact us if you can make it. It is all finished by 1 pm so your afternoon is still free.
Keep an eye on the web site for the results once we have analysed the data.
While doing our sampling of the river fly larvae yesterday we caught a 4 inch lamprey in addition to a huge number of critters. First time we’ve seen one in the river. The latest results for the fly larvae are on the web site under water quality.
Lamprey caught during River Fly Larvae survey.
Well go figure! You wait weeks for crayfish and then 7 come along! Just caught that many at the site near Milford Hall today. Pity they didn’t jump into our traps sooner so we could give them their 15 minutes of fame at the food festival. Solves the mystery of why they disappeared. They didn’t.
We have put on some information on the edible nature of Himalayan Balsam on the web site. If you would like recipe ideas or just info on what you can eat, check out Invasive Species and follow the links. If you have any other ideas for recipes, please post them as well. Collecting seed saves your wallet and the environment!
I have been working on the water quality data for our stretch of the Severn and have begun posting it on the web site for anyone interested. These data are hard to find from the government so we’d like them to be more available. It’s a work in progress and more will be added but you can check it out under Water Quality Data on the site.