Lewes Forum thread

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Should we camaign for the Ouse to be dredged?

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On 13 Feb 2014 at 11:58pm Dave wrote:
Should we demand the Ouse to be dredged if it will reduce the risk of Lewes flooding?
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On 14 Feb 2014 at 2:56am Go dredge your brain. wrote:
What a good idea!The increased flow of water will ensure that they all drown between here and Newhaven!Moron!
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On 14 Feb 2014 at 6:41am Boris wrote:
Go dredge your brain, you've clearly been reading the rubbish written by that idiot Monbiot.
This is a man who cares more about spawning fish than people's homes and jobs . It's not in his interest to see rivers dredged and none of his arguments add up on the. subject.
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On 14 Feb 2014 at 6:57am mr right wrote:
Some river do need dredging But not the ouse for now.
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On 14 Feb 2014 at 8:12am Sceptic wrote:
Dredging the ouse just to take out the rubbish would be a great idea. On the bend towards Newhaven just before the railway bridge there is a load of rubbish visible at low tide which could be quite risky for some of the bigger boats. But let's get our priorities right it might disturb some wildlife etc. lets face it rivers are not meant for boats.
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On 14 Feb 2014 at 9:31am Deelite 2 wrote:
This has been done to death in two previous threads, and both include knowledgable replies.

The two organisations with expert knowledge of the Sussex Ouse River Catchment are the Environment Agency and The Ouse and Adur Rivers Trust. The organisations are in accord, believing dredging the Ouse will only serve to deliver water faster and with more impact to the first pinch point, Cliff Bridge, thereby increasing the chances that Lewes will suffer from a cataclysmic flood such as that experienced in 2001.
Both also agree that flood water is best left to spread out into the flood plain and that if the river is left to naturalise (i.e. revert back to being bendy and shallow and woody debris not removed from it) the flood plain above Lewes will work much better. Both also agree that the planting of large numbers of trees on upstream floodplains will also alleviate the impacts of flood. This is based upon sound scientific knowledge gained through experience, study and experimentation.

So, the choice: dredge and increase chance of flooding a large number of properties in Lewes or leave river to naturalise and flood farm land and a very few properties.

The main obstacle to making the right choice (apart from the wilful gnorance of people like Boris and popullist short-termism displayed by weak political leaders such as Cameron) are the farmers and landowners above Lewes. They prefer the river dredged to save them the hassle of moving their cattle to higher ground or so they can turn more land over to crops. Generally they either have the ear of the local Tories or are an active part of the party. For instance above Lewes we have the Stroud family, mother a Tory councillor, owning most of the land between Hamsey and Barcombe, and John Sclater CVO of Sutton Hall Estate, born into the Tory establishment and owning most of the land between Barcombe and Newick. These are the people you should think about next time Lewes floods.. and there is no doubt whatsoever that it will flood again.

A side effect of leaving the river to naturalise is that the wildlife should return. Currently much of the Ouse is virtually dead. Ask anyone who has fished the river between Lewes and Haywards Heath for more than 40 years how much the flora and fauna has decreased in that time. There is not one who will say it hasn't. The variety and number of fish, native plant life and invertibrates is incredibly low. There are the odd hotspots it's true, but for miles above Barcombe the river in many respects is virtually barren. I challenge anyone to catch a decent fish between Sutton Hall weir and the Gold Bridge.

This thread is very depressing. How can such uninformed people have such strong feelings on something they clearly know nothing about? Boris especially, your post makes no sense and only serves to show your extreme fear of anything you perceive as left wing. You should get that chip off your shoulder and then your comments might have some value.
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On 14 Feb 2014 at 9:50am Dave wrote:
Thanks very much for clearing that up.
@Go dredge your brain - Why do you respond to a fair question like that?
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On 14 Feb 2014 at 10:04am Southover Queen wrote:
Thank you Deelite. These are much the same arguments which have been going on in Somerset, I believe, with much the same political stresses. Politics and disaster management (for that's what this weather represents - a natural disaster) should *not* be allowed to mix, and I do agree that the EA should be as distant from the political establishment as possible. Politicians just say whatever they think will earn them more votes, which mitigates against long-term planning and proper scientific assessment.

"Boris especially, your post makes no sense and only serves to show your extreme fear of anything you perceive as left wing. You should get that chip off your shoulder and then your comments might have some value."
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On 14 Feb 2014 at 10:43am Extra wrote:
Just one point, when I moved to the area, the Ouse at Cliffe was at least 6-10' deeper at low tide than it is now, there was continual maintenence of the river and its tributaries north of Lewes by the Water Board and the fishing was good.
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On 14 Feb 2014 at 11:08am Deelite 2 wrote:
It was the Water Board and dredging that killed off virtually all the life in the Longford Stream, and turned the Bevern into a muddy ditch.

I'm not too sure what point you are trying to make about the depth of the river. However, there is a lot less water flowing through the Ouse now than there used to be fourty years ago (excepting spates and floods). For instance the source of the Ouse tributary the Bevern stream is the Brighton aquifer which is now depleted due to increased water demand from the city of Brighton. This has considerably reduced the flow of the Bevern stream (ask ex-secretary of OAPS). The Sussex Ouse itself is heavily abstracted by South East Water. Sometimes in summer the flow between Ardingly and Barcombe is due entirely to the company moving water between the two reservoirs.
 
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On 14 Feb 2014 at 12:17pm Knoxon Cutts wrote:
Some times the water doesn't drain from my sink! I remove the horrible mess of hair (so that's where it's all gone) and sticky soap residue from the plug hole and pipe below.Bingo,the water quickly drains away again. The same laws of physics apply to rivers as to domestic plumbing so I fail to see how a silted up river can flow properly.Perhaps a bevy of experts could explain why I shouldn't bother to unblock my sink bit I fear that Mrs Cutts would give them short shrift and something else besides!
 
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On 14 Feb 2014 at 12:42pm Southover Queen wrote:
Yet another lost post...
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On 14 Feb 2014 at 12:50pm Deelite 2 wrote:
There is no or very little flow in the Ouse the majority of the time. To carry this usual amount of water you do not need a big ditch. Before the river was canalised it used to look a lot more like Cuckmerehaven. You can see the course of the old river up at Isfield and in some places below Barcombe quite clearly, almost forming Oxbow lakes in many places.

As the river was, in spate it would have flooded quickly and spread out into the surrounding flat ground (flood plain) with much water normally being absorbed pretty immediately by the ground and trees. Trees also help stop the rush of water. Once canalised it will not spread out immediately but form a torrent in the canal that causes the river to flood in a much less controlled way at the nearest pinch points (Lewes, Barcombe, Uckfield etc).

I say 'normally' as normally all the surrounding ground would not be waterlogged right to the surface as it is now. What we are currently experiencing is exceptional (and lets hope it stays exceptional).

Hope that helps. BTW I am pretty much the same age as you but still manage spaces after punctuation. :-)
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On 14 Feb 2014 at 1:20pm Skeptical green wrote:
Knoxon Cutts a river is not like a domestic sink, there are not millions if gallons of water flowing back up the pipe twice a day like the tides! Lewes floods when too much water hits the town from above Cliffe whilst the tidal water is blocking the exit route. Dredging the river upstream would make that problem worse, whilst creating more places where the water is slowed down or absorbed so it doesn't all try to get through Lewes at the same time reduces flood risk. All that water on the fields between Lewes and Barcombe is the traditional method of allowing seasonal flood meadows doing the job of protecting the town. That is why we should not build on flood plain and why other methods of storing and slowing down water such as those discussed above are important measures that should be considered. The problems in Somerset are slightly different because the Levels are reclaimed land so the arguments about when and where you should dredge are more complicated.
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On 14 Feb 2014 at 1:59pm queequeg wrote:
Deelite and SQ are defending the indefensible in my opinion.
The Environment Agency has been caught out by it's own propaganda.... such as that we must expect a Mediterranean climate, prepare for huge water shortages, build more reservoirs.
So they all sit in their offices thinking up good reasons to do nothing because, like Hamlet, "conscience doth make cowards of us all". In other words, think too much about alternative courses of action and all their consequences and you end up doing nothing. And how convenient to do nothing, it's so much easier and cheaper. We can sell off our dredgers, we can hire so many more green advisers/ political advisers to keep us on the "Right on" track, and why should we care about the consequences when we live in Islington.
 
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On 14 Feb 2014 at 2:17pm Knoxon Cutts wrote:
Yes, the straightening of rivers causes them to die. They had that problem with the Rhine in Germany, an old mate of mine explained to me. He showed me how water from the tap flows in a double helix. The continuous spiralling keeps the water alive and when rivers are straightened it impedes this process. This German discovered it by closely observing streams when he was a child (wish I was more observant). He designed large vanes for the Rhine and when they were installed the river supported life again. It strikes me that the huge post war use of chemical fertilizers and their run off into the upper Ouse must have a deleterious effect on it's life quality as well.

On the other side of the coin it's worth remembering that a lot of these wetland and sustainability projects were inspired by the Rio earth summit and agenda 21 which also recommends an 80% reduction in population. Don't forget that the UN was formed by the aristocratic, banking and industrial elite of the world and is totally undemocratic.
I've never voted for them and I don't trust them an inch.
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On 14 Feb 2014 at 2:31pm Southover Queen wrote:
Er... where am I defending anything? I merely voiced the opinion that the politicisation of senior jobs in quangos should be avoided. I wonder whether you just disagree with me as a sort of kneejerk reaction - if I've said anything at all it must be automatically be wrong?

And actually anyone who lives in Islington has the Thames barrier to thank for the fact that they're not permanently under water.

I'm fed up with everyone desperately seeking someone to blame, whether it's the Bilderberg group or the Environment Agency. This country hasn't known rainfall like this in 250 years. Short of building a 20 foot wall all the way round the UK with a dome over the top of it, there's nothing anyone could have done to avoid flooding.
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On 14 Feb 2014 at 3:01pm Deelite 2 wrote:
KC. It's the canalisation and dredging of rivers that reduces life in the rivers, not straightening per se. Life needs safe, shallow places with no or low flow to spawn and grow safely. A dregded river has none of these and in a spate all is washed out to sea, with the bottom of the river being scoured out.
And... Europe. I am sure many would agree with you, about Europe and about population. I know I do. However, I also see that Europe can be a force for good, especially when it curbs the excesses and inept decisions of our self-serving government . I am all for human rights and increased environmental concern, for instance and in both areas the EU often overules our government to the benefit of the mass of our population

As for Queequeg. It's not EA proganda, it's the weight of scientific opinion as illustrated above. Very often it comes down to letting the flood plains flood (and not building on them) *or* flooding the centres of populations below the floodplains. It's not rocket science.
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On 14 Feb 2014 at 3:56pm bastian wrote:
It is possible to dredge parts of the river, like the bits that go through town, that are already devoid of eco system wildlife (fish yes, but none of the small stuff that breeds life in to a river). But what we should also be campaigning for is a stop to building anything else on our flood plains. It is so obviously crazy to do so in the light of this years deluge. Flood plains need to be there as they are, to catch water. If the developers are not sure of where the flooding could be they just need to look on a geological servey map of Lewes-if it's got alluvial mud, don't build on it.
 
 
On 14 Feb 2014 at 5:40pm Sceptic wrote:
We all moan about the politicians but by God you lot take the biscuit When it comes to making decisions you lot are just as bad, you all think you know the answer but you don't. Southover Queen hit the nail on the head when she pointed out that this is the worst rainfall in 250 years. If you want to blame someone then go to church and ask him what he is playing at.
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On 14 Feb 2014 at 5:57pm Zebedee wrote:
Bit of a tough for one for atheists and most scientists...

There have been a lot of very unusual and sometimes unprecedented weather incidents around the globe recently. Our floods are but one in a litany. In the UK four of the five wettest years recorded in the UK have occurred from the year 2000 onwards. Over that same period, we have also had the seven warmest years.

Anyone might think that the climate is changing...... worrying link alert:

Check it out here »
 
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On 14 Feb 2014 at 6:51pm Country Boy wrote:
Does anyone who has posted here actually have any Hydrology / Water Engineering qualifications?
 
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On 14 Feb 2014 at 6:54pm Zzz... wrote:
You can read the EA and OART stuff for yourself. They all have loads of qualifications.

Simple really.
 
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On 14 Feb 2014 at 7:02pm sceptic wrote:
Or you can hang some seaweed outside your back door.
 
 
On 14 Feb 2014 at 8:53pm Country Boy wrote:
Yep - that confirms my suspicions.
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On 15 Feb 2014 at 10:18am Splish Splash wrote:
SQ said "And actually anyone who lives in Islington has the Thames barrier to thank for the fact that they're not permanently under water."
Huh? That can't be right, can it?
Or is this an Islington on a Dutch polder that's guarded by a dyke called Thames?
Um ... nope. Islington is actually almost 100 feet above sea level!

Check it out here »
 
 
On 15 Feb 2014 at 10:54am Mr Sensible wrote:
Wozza polder?
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On 15 Feb 2014 at 11:01am Southover Queen wrote:
So sorry: was indulging in a spot of rhetoric. I won't do it again.
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On 15 Feb 2014 at 11:02am sensible wrote:
why not bulldoze all houses on the flood plain and revert it back to its original use. Our problem is that we keep covering huge areas in concrete leaving the water no where to go. Stop blaming the government and start looking closer to home. If you own a house on a flood plain then you should shoulder some of the blame for these floods. Only a fool would buy a house on a flood plain.
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On 15 Feb 2014 at 11:31am Zzz.. wrote:
Because housing on floodplains is only part of the problem and bulldozing them won't cure the problem?

A fool, or someone who can't afford to buy a house out of the floodplain perhaps.
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On 15 Feb 2014 at 1:11pm Clifford wrote:
Or we could say, 'Don't build any more houses on the flood plain'. Imagine how many there would be waiting to flood on the Phoenix site if Charles Style had had his way. 'Oh, but he was going to build a cinema'. Where is he these days?
 
 
On 17 Feb 2014 at 6:04pm belladonna wrote:
So what are the implications for the so-called 'North Street Quarter' redevelopment proposals? The flood defences they included in their plans were drainage ditches and integral defences to houses - not much good with ground water saturation coming up through concrete floors....
 
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On 18 Feb 2014 at 6:52pm Deelite 2 wrote:
This guy nails part of the problem.....

Check it out here »


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