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A home on the Cray....and a plan for nature

This from Ashe Hurst – River Keeper on the River Cray with Thames21:
Good News, We got planning agreed tonight from Bexley Council. The River Keeper base on Foot Path 106, Barnes Cray Road Crayford DA1, will provide a focal point for River Keeper Volunteers and volunteers, storage for tools, kit, boats, canoes and enhancement materials. We will be able to hold meetings, carry out training & repairs.
At present the land is derelict and over grown. The shipping container, porta cabin & WC are being provided by Bexley Engineers Department as a mitigation from the A206 Thames Road & Bridge building project.
Although not yet envisaged as an main office as such, I will need suitable power to operate a PC, Printer, Lights, Heating, hot & Cold Water, Sink , Fridge, Microwave, Kettle.
We need to be on site by end of February or the funding from the mitigations will be withdrawn by March.
We Started Footpath 106 enhancements projects today, within 15 mins were down to T- Shirts. Thames21 River Keeper Volunteers, Northwest Kent Country Partnership volunteers and Southern EA Operations Team blitzed 100 meters and carried on for 300 meters. Bexley Contractors cleared debris and litter. Only 500 meters to go. This will open the ground up to light and moisture, regenerate fresh growth, increase Bio Diversity, remove sleeping, drinking and drug dens and give clear views along the secluded river path.
All large Trees growing in silted beds that had to be felled have been cut to lengths for use in Wild Trout Trust River Restoration Projects that RKs are working towards.
Can I thank all Thames21 RKVs, everyone for their support of our project and those of you who have supported and guided us through this Land Acquisition and planning process.

TINTT has been sifting the available information on the Cray’s water quality and combining this with the EA's and our own knowledge of the river structure.

Taking the raw numbers from the EA monitoring records and turning them into graphical plots allows us to visually pick out spikes in chemical levels and get a feel for the frequency of accidental inputs of chemicals to the river.

This has enabled TINTT to work alongside the EA and forward a strategic plan for appropriate habitat restoration and biodiversity management. In this way, we can maximize the potential ecological benefits for the efforts that will be put into habitat work on the Cray. We will also be providing (free of charge) a Wild Trout Trust “Practical Visit” to carry out top quality habitat restoration on substantial demonstration plots. The crucial value of the PV programme (as well as the direct habitat and overall biodiversity benefits that it generates) is that Thames21 and all associated volunteers working on the Cray can be trained in each of these techniques. In turn, this state of the art expertise can be passed on to future volunteers and the WTT are always available to respond to technical queries that arise from any of our partnership projects.


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