Beck Working Group - 5 July 2021

Notes of the meeting of the Beck Working Group held at 2pm on Monday 5 July 2021
In attendance:
Councillors: P Jenkinson (PJ) (Chairman), J Radcliffe (JR)
Terry Williams (TW), Julia Goodman (JG), Jane Ashby (JA) (Facilities Manager) & Claire Ward (Assist. Clerk)
1. Welcome 
   The Chairman welcomed everyone present
2. To receive apologies
Apologies received from Mike spencer
3. To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 15 March 2021
Following discussion and some minor amendments (JG – item 10) the minutes were proposed, seconded, and 
AGREED: that the notes of the Beck working group meeting held on 15 March be approved as a correct record and be signed by the chairman. Unanimous     Action PJ/CW
4. To receive any matters arising - None
5. Chairman’s report:
There are currently 2 vacancies on the group which are to be advertised in Nettleham Matters and the Parish Council notice board     Action DL
6. To receive an update on the experimental berm in Nettleham beck
  • Designed and implemented by members of the working group in the spring, the berm was planted up with a selection of specimens collected from elsewhere in the beck. A week later spearwort and marsh marigold were added sourced from a specialist nursery. 
  • The berm has created a good natural meander and the beck route itself is clear of algae.
  • However some plants may get too big, and flooding after heavy rainfall does leave debris which needs to be cleared. Increased flow has increased the size of the berm.
  • Were a further berm to be implemented upstream it could be smaller and higher and encourage a greater variety of marginal plants (item 7)
  • Members of the working group acknowledged the success of this project and in addition the opportunity for more residents to be involved. 
  • It was raised that there is some funding available from the Lincolnshire Rivers Trust (LRT) for further projects in alternative locations.
  • Nicola Craven from LRT (Limestone Beck Project) to be invited to a future meeting     Action PJ/JA
7. Suggestions for further small scale projects
 The group considered a number of smaller projects:
  • A further berm near Blacksmith’s cottage
  • Following the successful replanting of irises alongside Luv-a-duck cottage, additional planting of iris clumps behind the Vines is suggested to encourage the moor hens to return. Relevant residents to be consulted     Action JG                                                         
  • Transplanting of cowslips from the old allotments to suitable locations in the village for example the banks outside Old Mill House     Action JG
8. Application to Environment Agency – weir repairs and sizing
In order to maintain the beck, action is required to:
a) Underpin apron
b) Repair weir 3 post
c) Correct or amend height of weir boards which have been measured and are 2” higher than the current licence from the Environment Agency permits.
Following discussion, the Chair will present the following options to Property Committee on 6 July 2021   Action PJ
i. Apply for a variation to the EA licence stating the new height of the weirs, which will also include permission to undertake remedial works to the concrete apron at weir 1. The cost of the remedial work has already received approval from the Parish Council. 
ii. Reducing the height of the boards
9. Draft Beck Management plan
The group discussed feedback from the Parish council about the draft Beck Management plan.
i. The Parish council were unhappy with the tone of the letter to riparian owners. Following discussion, the group agreed it would be helpful to replace it with a letter for ‘new’ riparian owners summarising their key responsibilities.     Action PJ
ii. In addition, the section on Parish council responsibilities (p16) could be improved     Action PJ
iii. Part C p4-5 would subsequently need to be amended     Action PJ
10. Any other business
  • A report was presented by a member of the group summarising a visual inspection of the beck from S bends to 1 Kingsway.
  • The beck is flowing well however some clearance is required, particularly in the section through the fields, to avoid heightened flood risk.
  • It was proposed that a letter should be sent to the relevant landowner suggesting that some work be undertaken at the appropriate time (water voles are present)     Action JA
  • There have been no further reports of cars being parked in the beck for photo opportunities
  • Date of the next meeting Monday 18th October 2pm     Action PJ
Meeting closed at 15.15