Date of release: July 4, 2017
Thames21 to hold consultations evenings about Taplow/Dorney Common river on July 13 and 17
A consultation is to be held on how to improve Roundmoor Ditch, a stretch of river between Taplow and Dorney Common which runs close to many local homes and is an important amenity for the local community.
The consultation, to be run by London’s leading waterways charity Thames21, is the start of a two-year project to improve the stretch of waterway.
In 2014, the Thames Basin suffered significant flooding which included groundwater levels in the local area remaining exceptionally high for long periods. This resulted in surface water infiltrating the sewer systems and overwhelming Slough sewage treatment works.
Under these extreme conditions, sewage treatment works are permitted to discharge storm flows and the ones into the Roundmoor Ditch continued for an unprecedented period of around three months.
Significant concerns raised by residents in Eton Wick, community groups, and landowners highlighted that the river, its ecology, and its use as an amenity is much loved by members of the community.
The project will improve and protect 750 metres or more of the Roundmoor Ditch – and the charity wants to hear residents’ views about how the work should take shape.
The charity aims to recruit volunteers by staging 30 community events in the two years to deliver the project, thereby giving residents the chance to shape the habitat management, river restoration and river monitoring. Planned events include a wildflower seeding programme on the riverbanks. Another aim is to form a ‘Friends of’ group, with people trained by Thames21 to lead their own management plan of the area in due course.
The project will also have an education element, working with the Thames Water Education Centre at Slough Sewage Treatment Works to improve the community’s understanding of Roundmoor Ditch and the problems it faces.
Consultation evenings are planned at Eton Wick Church of England First School, Sheepcote Road, Windsor, SL4 6JB on:
Thursday July 13 from 7-9pm
Monday July 17 from 7-9pm
Luke Damerum, Thames21’s project officer for the non-Tidal Thames, said: “We want to talk to residents about our plans for improving the river and find out what they think about the river – how they use it and how they would like to use it.
“We want to improve marginal vegetation, rebuild riverbanks that have fallen away, remove vegetation that is preventing a diversity of wildlife flourishing and make Roundmoor Ditch a fantastic open space that both people and wildlife can enjoy.
“At Thames21, we have many years of experience in pulling communities together to be involved in looking after their stretch of waterway and understanding the problems it faces.
“Discussions after the flooding in the river behind people’s houses in 2014 demonstrated that a lot of community groups are passionate about the area’s waterways and want to help look after it.”
Thames21 will work with other groups including Thames Valley Angling Association, Landowners; Palmers Estates and Eton College as well as residents.
The project will be funded by Thames Water, who worked closely with the Royal Borough of Maidenhead and Windsor to identify residents’ concerns and devise the outline.
The company’s External Affairs Director, Richard Aylard, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting Thames21 with their project to improve the Roundmoor Ditch. The interest and support of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead has been crucial in getting us to this point and we hope local people will be enthusiastic in helping to shape the details of the project.”
For more information about the consultation or the project, call Luke Damerum on 07824491166 or email Luke.Damerum@thames21.org.uk
Notes for editors
Thames21 is an environmental charity putting healthy rivers back at the heart of community life. Through environmental improvements, education, research and advocacy efforts, Thames21 is inspiring and influencing effective and lasting change by working hand-in-hand with communities to deliver tangible and measurable improvements for urban rivers.
www.thames21.org.uk | Registered Charity No. 1103997
Communications Manager at Thames21
020 7248 7171