Article submitted for Hughenden News Spring edition

The Hughenden Stream

In amongst the current gloom of Coronavirus and the winter’s wet weather, it is a pleasure to be able to report good news in that the Hughenden Stream is flowing in the Valley. Perhaps this is unsurprising as the rain seems to have been a daily event since last October. However, it is always a joy to see the stream flowing and this will be welcome by Valley residents and visitors to the park. On a cautionary note, the stream is flowing rapidly now and in the lower area of the park care is needed.

The stream was flowing down in the park late last year and since then its rising has gradually worked its way back up the Valley, as it tends to do. There is a circular depression in the field below the pumping station and this started filling with water in January. By February water was steadily flowing from this spring into the stream and down through Church Farm. In early March, water had started rising in the winterbourne ditches in back gardens up from the Surgery. Who knows how far up the Valley the water will flow from this year? 

The Valley

Thankfully, although we have suffered an extremely wet winter and the stream is running, the Valley has not suffered too badly compared to recent years. We have been very fortunate locally compared with others less fortunate than ourselves, particularly folk in the Midlands, North and the West living near substantial rivers and have suffered flooding of their homes and communities.  Spare a thought for them.

The rain for us has been spread over a long period, appears to have been relatively light, and we seem to have experienced few of the concentrated heavy downpours of the last couple of years. Nor, indeed, have we suffered the groundwater and sewage flooding experienced in 2000 and 2014, probably because the water table was at a very low level approaching the Autumn.

DIG Activity

Fortunately, despite the wet winter, our activity has been fairly low. The biggest concern has been with the local drainage ditches which have become clogged on several occasions requiring council intervention. 

Just recently, sewage was spotted spewing from an inspection cover in the field outside the pumping station and running down into the stream. Thankfully, Thames Water responded quickly to resolve this problem, but residents should be aware of this when walking in this area.

This year we await further work by Transport for Bucks in improving the road drainage near the Village Hall; this should be due from April onwards.

March DIG Update

Aside from one or two heavy downpours in the Autumn/Winter period, the Valley has escaped very lightly in contrast with other areas of the country. As a result our workload has been relatively light, hurrah!

One continuing theme has been notifying TFB about the state of the ditches, as they frequently clog up and require cleaning. The ditch along Valley Road near the pumping station ha been under pressure this winter and at one point was so full it threatened to spill over onto the road.  TFB carried out work to cleared the ditch but the tunnel under the pumping station seems to be preventing the ditch to empty properly, so a request has been made to get this looked at. 

Just this last week, sewage was spotted spewing from an inspection cover in the field outside the pumping station and running down into the stream. Thankfully, Thames Water responded quickly to resolve this problem. The fact that the spillage was quickly stopped suggests this was due to a blockage rather than a symptom of an overloaded system.

 The DIG has also approached Thames Water on the matter as residents are also keen to know how long they should leave it before allowing children and dogs to play in the stream affected.

A new HVDIG website is currently being worked on and should be available in the coming weeks. Content will be broadly similar to the existing site, but it will have a fresh look and will allow greater potential for expansion and use of images etc.