Since we ran the stakeholder meeting to engage all Broads stakeholders on the emerging risks to the Broads Environment following the Environment Agency saying they couldn’t provide the resources to manage the Broads Environment. To publicly now hear the area director state, they can’t resource either proactively or re-actively respond to incidents as government budget constraints had limited their resources and capability should be a wake up call to us all, that something must change.
We have now documented the outcomes from this event and giving the unanimous support on the day, we have since developed an EOI (expression of interest) into a Lottery Grant to support these ambitions.
What does this mean for BASG
Where does this leave BASG and its own objectives focused around the angling community, you may ask. I believe we have reached the end of the journey with Broads anglers and we need a new wider approach, beyond the world of anglers. If our EOI is accepted, we will be reaching out for people to help build a business plan in the coming weeks, that would support a full application to define the necessary framework for a new approach in Broads Environment management under the “Broads Guardian” banner.
This is no small task as the full application requirement requires defining in some 80,000 words, supporting an business case worth some £1.3m.
Many will ask what £1.3m! how on earth do you get to that figure.
This covers a 5 year period to 2029 and staff costs represent some 53% of this.
A further 16% covers the implementation of a catchment wide salinity monitoring solution.
Capital costs are a further 8%, which includes the replacement of the Potter Heigham barrier
An 8% Investment in training some 50 volunteers to professional standards
Plus some contingency costs and you soon reach £1.3m.
So these are real tasks and challenges facing the Broads now, without resources, which with climate change predictions will only get worse. We have confirmation that neither the EA, BA or NE have the resources and budgets to support this.
Without this sort of structure, our much beloved Broads freshwater ecosystem will slowly demise.
If you are in any way interested in helping create this journey, do please get in touch.
Focus on Salinity and the Freshwater Ecology
It’s great that the Broads Society with Duncan continue with the arrangement of the conference at the UEA on the 25th November looking at salinity impacting on the Broads Freshwater Ecology and what’s needed to be done to adapt and sustain this in the medium term. The conference is hoping that over 300 delegates will attend.
There is just so much activity and enthusiasm being exposed through the Wensum Partnership, it’s a challenge keeping abreast of everything. Whilst DEFRA keeps launching new schemes for changing land use on carbon credits and biodiversity net gain.
Now we are 12 months into the citizen science collating water quality samples across the headwaters, its shown that the previous assumptive modelling used by the statutory bodies isn’t reflecting the actual in river pollution and its sources. Certainly, agriculture diffused runoff was seen as one of the largest contributions to Phosphate. The data shows something very different and much of the Phosphate load can be traced to residential septic tanks, given a profile of diffused runoff. Whether this is seen elsewhere in what are very rural catchments, only more catchment sampling will tell. We will be working on our second newsletter shortly and are currently compiling material. The next round of focus meeting start on the 21st August with the ecology group.