Gro-Zone: Northwich's Community Garden

The former council nurseries on Whalley Road (opposite side of the railway to Vickersway Park) is a community garden, with food-growing, pond-dipping and facilities for socials and forest school groups.
It's open Monday - Saturday, 10am - 3pm.

More information see www.grozone.org.uk, or contact Pete on 01606 723160 (office).
Grozone is also on facebook - https://www.facebook.com/grozone?ref=ts&fref=ts, or search for "Grozone Community Garden". (There's also a redundant "Grozone" group).


 

Love My River Northwich is a project that started in Nov 2016, working within the community to raise awareness of local rivers and watercourses and involve people in looking after them.

They want local volunteers, community groups, businesses, schools and colleges to help them learn more about their condition and take part in practical action to improve them. You can get involved through our programme of:

·        Walkover surveys which will help build a better picture of the condition of local rivers and the issues affecting them, as well as identifying any particular problems that need attention.

·        ‘Citizen Science’ sessions carrying out chemical, physical and biological testing to provide more detailed data on water quality to support the Environment Agency and other Conservation organisations’ work to protect the freshwater environment

·        Practical Action days to deal with some of the problems or potential improvements identified on our Walkover Surveys and Citizen Science sessions. These could include: litter picks and clean-up days, controlling invasive non-native species, riverbank protection work, tree planting etc.

How to take part:

·        Individual volunteers can get involved in the regular programme of Love My River Northwich public events - a programme of events is planned on alternate Thursdays with a break for Christmas and New Year. A list of dates may be on their facebook page if they've updated it.

·        Community Groups, Businesses and Educational groups can request their own Walkover Survey, Citizen Science or Practical Action event,

·        Tell other people about Love My River Northwich and encourage them to get involved!

They'd like to use their web presence (mainly facebook but also a page on the Grozone website) to share web links, including videos, that are relevant to our project. This could include for example: videos of how to carry out sampling and testing, articles about our local rivers and news items about anything relating to river water quality nationwide. If you spot anything suitable (or want to help search things out!?) please pass the details on to Pete.Attwood[at]groundwork.org.uk

The project is led by Groundwork Cheshire Lancashire and Merseyside with funding from the Environment Agency and support from the Weaver Gowy Catchment Partnership.

For enquiries about the project or any offers to get involved please message them via facebook or email: pete.attwood@groundwork.org.uk

New Programme for winter 2017/2018

With the riverside vegetation dying down after the summer, now looks like the time to begin rolling out this Autumn and Winter's programme. There are some important developments in the way we are approaching the work in this phase of the project.

Most significant is that will now be working with detailed maps, as kindly supplied by United Utilities, which show important details about the sewage and surface water drainage systems and where any overflows meet the watercourses. This should mean we can tell in most cases where the various pipes entering the watercourses come from and what they will be carrying.

To back up the maps, we now also have an open line of communication with United Utilities officers who are very keen to help us with any questions or requests for advice which come out of our investigations. Having done a lot of the legwork in the last phase of walkover surveys and recording, we now have a really good idea of what to look for and where, and we can now be much more focused on where we visit and what testing we want to do on the water quality issues.

Here are the planned dates and locations for the walkovers up until Christmas. If you are able to join us for any of these, please meet on the dates shown at 10am at Grozone Community Garden http://grozone.weebly.com/contact.html , please come prepared for whatever the weather looks like doing and bring a packed lunch as we shall be out and about most of the day:

Thursday 26/10/17 - Kingsmead area, bounded on the west by the River Weaver, on the south by the A556, on the east by London Road and on the north by the Manchester to Chester railway. Focusing on the watercourses and surface water/Combined Sewage Overflows (CSOs)draining into the River Weaver from its right bank.

Thursday 9/11/17 - Southern part of Northwich Town, bounded on the west by the River Weaver, on the south by the Manchester to Chester railway, on the east by Middlewich Road and on the north by Chester Way. Focusing on watercourses and surface water/CSOs draining into the River Weaver from its right bank and into the River Dane from both banks.

Thursday 23/11/17 - Leftwich and Rudheath, bounded on the west by London Road, on the south by the A556, on the west by the A530 & Middlewich Road and on the north by the Manchester to Chester Railway. Focusing on the watercourses and surface water/CSOs draining into the River Dane from both banks.

Thursday 7/12/17 - Northern part of Northwich Town, bounded on the west by the River Weaver, on the south by Chester Way, Middlewich Road and the Manchester to Chester Railway, and on the north and east by Witton Brook/Wade Brook. Focusing on watercourses and surface water/CSOs draining into the River Weaver from its right bank, into the Witton Brook/Wade Brook from the left bank.

Thursday 21/12/17 - Hartford and Castle, bounded on the south-west by School Lane, on the south by the A556, on the east by the River Weaver and on the north-west by the A559. Focusing on watercourses and surface water/CSOs draining into the River Weaver from its left bank.

I'm planning to continue the fortnightly Thursday walkover programme in the new year, but would appreciate any indications of whether any of you would be interested in re-instating monthly Saturday sessions too, in January, February and March?

We also plan to fix dates in the new year to visit: Winnington & Barnton; Marston, Wincham and Lostock; Gadbrook Park and Davenham; and time permitting, Weaverham

A date for diaries is Thursday 18th January, for any of you who may be interested in learning how to use the Environment Agency's Catchment Walkover tool, which will enable us to start mapping our results properly on a GIS (Geographical Information System). We have kindly been offered a session with a specialist within the Environment Agency, Charles Storey who is coming up specially from the West Midlands. I'm hoping for a minimum of 6 people and ideally more on the event, to make sure the trip makes good use of Charles's time, but also to make sure we have the best chance of making use of the system for our own benefit. The event will be in the warmth and comfort of the Groundwork Office boardroom at Yarwoods Arm, Navigation Road and will be a full day of activity. Please let me know if you would be interested in attending (see email address above).

For the Citizen science water quality testing, we are planning on using a different set of test kits from last year, which will enable us to test for a wider range of issues. The kind of kits we will be using are detailed on the supplier's website at: http://www.lamotte.com/en/education/water-monitoring/3-5886.html

All of this work will link in this year to other new aspects of the project including the Misconnections project and the Yellow Fish Scheme, both of which are only possible with some detailed mapping of the kind we now have. More details of both of these projects are available at: http://www.connectright.org.uk/

and: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/339531/Yellow_Fish_Guidance_Manual__Education_and_Community_groups_.pdf

I hope some of you will be able to join us this week and on subsequent events. Following on from this will be a range of other activities which I'm looking forward to telling you about soon.

Pete








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