Tuesday, 28 May 2013

What it’s all about

Sunday, 22 May 2011

What it’s all about

Photo 01- A recent Hang Glider.
What it’s all about!
I have never been one to dish out praise in a loose fashion for everything and anything, rather when excellence is encountered then praise is the correct option. In the last couple of months I think I have said “thank you” to more club members than ever in the past in my time at St Mary’s Angling Club. It seems that members are coming forward relentlessly to offer their services, to see how they can progress the club and say thanks for the privilege of fishing on the lochs in a most rugged and beautiful part of the country!
This is a new and most welcome development where members themselves are driving the club forward seeking to maximise the angling experience available to members. This is a correct mode of operation whereby member participation guides the club to better things; it is the philosophy of all good clubs!
One of our members Mike Wood phoned me to tell me among other things that he had caught a 7 inch Trout on the fly, his first ever on the fly.
Now to the “plastic” angler this might seem a trifle, he being used to catching large, soft, flabby "plastic" Trout that rise to fag ends, take bare hooks, pick up ledgered flys of the tired angler, come to the net like a wet sock and generally bite anything in sight. But catching a discerning wild 7 inch trout on a fly crafted to match the hatch is indeed a feat, it is the very pinnacle of angling! Its man against a wild adversary the way it used to be, the way it should be and the way it is now for our true fish hunters. To catch such trout demands the pursuing angler’s best efforts with all senses directed to the task in hand, any slip ups (of no consequence in a “plastic” fishery) abruptly bring the wild fish hunter back to square one as the wily trout scorns the fly.
This is real angling, often all day being spent in trying to entice a wild fish and on many occasions drawing a character building blank. The pleasures and fellowship associated with such angling of course are only available to honest anglers as described by old Izaak, where the sighting of an Otter or Osprey immediately rewards the wild fish hunter with a memory never to be forgotten. Similarly when a wild trout is caught and examined one can only marvel at the sleek lithe form, full fins and Constable type beauty which seems to radiate in the sun with vivid and vibrant spotting yet when returned to the loch become invisible!
Such joys are only available to real anglers, the moaning minnies, malcontents and Muppets know nothing of this pleasure only the hollow bragging, photo taking that surrounds engineered second rate fishing!
Yes a 7 inch Brownie will be pooh poohed by the “plastic angler”, dismissed by non anglers but will draw a wry smile and a knowing nod from other wild fishers, only they knowing what has been expended to secure the prize and the warm glow of satisfaction that ensues!
Yes Mike a 7 inch Brownie you will remember forever, a landmark fish in your angling career. Easy options of “plastic” fishing discarded in favour of the character building path that is the lot of the real angler. Welcome to the world of real angling Mike!
May you have many more and many larger! I get the feeling that “Thank you” will become a very well used set of words in my vocabulary in the coming years!
Photo 02 - The Village Hall Shepherd and faithfull friend.
News just in!
A motion has just been submitted from a member of the committee for our meeting on the 15th of June.
It reads thus “a member on allowing his membership to lapse will not be afforded the privilege of club membership for a period of five years excepting where that lapse is due to circumstances beyond his control”. This motion along with others will be fully discussed at the above mentioned meeting. Any paid up member may submit their comments via our e mail address or via our club secretary Mr Alasdair White, contact details on our contacts page on the main website.
The Capital reached!
The cycling duo of Ian & Barbara has reached Edinburgh and are having a few days off. Their progress has been remarkable through a variety of weather conditions, catch up on the latest www.barbarian.me.uk
Ps.Pete and I dismantled your gazebo today as it was lying against your neighbour’s fence with a couple of severely bent poles, we also battened down your table and chairs as they were scattered all over as well. Take care tomorrow forecast not great, hope the wind is behind you!
Feathered friends
Young Chaffinches, Blue and Great Tits are appearing in very unusual places such as the workbench in the boathouse, the storage cupboard in our Arran boats and on top of my rucksack! Obviously just learning to fly they need regular breaks to rest the unused wing muscles. Great to see nature in action!
Apologies for the erratic layout of the following document my meagre pc skills do not allow me to correct this!
Minutes of the recent St Mary’s loch working group.
St. Mary’s Loch Working Group (SMLWG) Meeting No. 3 – MINUTES
Tuesday 12th April 2011
Emergency Planning Room at the SBC HQ
Meeting Details: Attendees:
Conor Price (CP); Steven Vint (SV); John Drake (JD); Kat Dennis (KD); Michael Spencer (MS); Kirsty MacKenzie Hirst (KMH); Elaine Fraser (EF); Victoria Reeves (VR); Nick Yonge (NY); Keith Robeson (KR); Martin Andrews (MA); Jim Bradshaw (JB); Dougie Scott (DS); Owen Bramwell (OB); Julie Nock (JN)
David Green (DG) arrived at approx. 16:15
Richard Kehoe (RK)
15:00 – 17:05
Meeting attendees: DG, CP, SV, JD, KD, MS, KMH, EF, VR, NY, KR, MA, JB, DS, and OB
Meeting apologies: RK
Plus: Paul Frankland (SBC); Caroline Jones (SW); Councillor Vicky Davidson (SBC), Councillor Kenneth Gunn (SBC), Councillor Carolyn Riddell-Carre (CRC)
1 – Final draft for circulation to all Working Group Members for review
Items to be covered: Item
Item No. 1
Apologies for Absence:
Apologies were received from:
o Richard Kehoe (SNH) who requested that CP would present Item No. 4 on his behalf.
o David Green (SBC) who identified that he would be arriving late due to another meeting.
o CP identified that CP had invited Julie Nock to the meeting as a guest attendee. JN has just commenced a new role with the Southern Upland Partnership as an officer tasked with developing ‘revitalising initiatives’ in the Ettrick and Yarrow Valleys.
Item No. 2
Minutes from SMLWG Meeting No. 2:
The Minutes from the previous meeting were approved by the meeting.
Any actions required from that meeting were discussed by CP as appropriate throughout the meeting.
Item No. 3
An update on Selkirk FPS from SBC:
CP provided a presentation to the meeting detailing (See the presentation for more detail on these points):
o Progress with the FPS since the last meeting;
o An update on the Project Programme;
o As an example to the meeting of the ongoing work on the Outline Design of the Preferred Scheme CP discussed the Design for the Riverside Cell and in particular the issue relating to erosion at Victoria Park. A slide was also presented giving a typical section of possible defensive measures and in particular highlighting the
significant works required under the ground;
o A report to the meeting on the update of the Project Website and in particular the new pages relating to the SML Option and the SMLWG.
Item No. 4
An update from SNH Representative:
 CP provided the report to the meeting for SNH in the absence of RK. The following are the main points of note:
o SNH do not have anything of note to report at this point.
Item No. 5
An update from SEPA Representative:
 VR provided the meeting with an update from the perspective of SEPA. The following are the main points of note:
o VR confirmed to the meeting that she had now formally taken over the responsibilities of David Lister and Kate Comins, in relation to the Selkirk FPS, since their departures from SEPA;
o It was noted that SEPA had submitted a formal response to SBC Planning in relation to the EIA Scoping Exercise. Further it was notes that there were a number of specific comments within this submission that merited consideration by the Project Team.
o CP agreed that this submission would be reviewed once the formal response was passed from SBC Planning to the Project Team.
Item No. 6
An update from SML Users Representative:
 KR provided the meeting with an update from the perspective of The SML Users. The following are the main points of note:
o That the SML Users would like to see the Marker Posts installed around SML ASAP.
o That there were no major issues to report from the Users at this point.
Item No. 7
An update from SML Riparian Owners Representative:
 MA provided the meeting with an update from the perspective of The SML Owners. The following are the main points of note:
o That the SML Owners would like to see the Marker Posts installed around SML ASAP.
o That there were no major issues to report from the Owners at this point.
Item No. 8
An update from E&YCC Representative:
 JB provided the meeting with an update from the perspective of Ettrick & Yarrow Community Council. The following are the main points of note:
o That the E&YCC are very happy with progress to date and that the proposals have been well received by the public in general.
o That he distributed paper copies of the SMLWG Newsletter in the Yarrow Valley.
Item No. 9
An update from SW Representative:
 DS provided the meeting with an update from the perspective of SW. The following are the main points of note:
o That there is a lot of interest within SW on how the SML Option is progressing. In general this stems from the organisation coming to terms with the new FRM (Scotland) Act 2009 and how it will be required to deliver the objectives of the Act. SW is watching the SMLWG to see if it is successful and whether it can provide a pan-Scotland model for future collaborative working.
o That OB and Halcrow met to review the Hydrological data-sets and that SW perceived this meeting as having been positive and a success.
o NY questioned DS about progress with the Fish Pass Project.
o DS responded that he understood that the project was being moved forward but that he did not have the details at the meeting. DS undertook to report back to NY with a report on this matter.
Item No. 10
Item No. 11
An update from HGL on the Feasibility Study:
A discussion of the Feasibility Study and the SML Option:
 SV provided the meeting with an update on the SML Option Feasibility Study. (See the presentation for more detail on these points):
 In general the presentation was delivered informally and SV both took and responded to questions as they arose. As such Item No. 10 and Item No. 11 essentially became one long presentation interspersed with questions and discussion. The following is a record of some of the main points raised at this stage of the meeting:
o SV apologised to the meeting for not having a draft of the Feasibility Study to present to the meeting. He identified that the workload associated with the Feasibility Study was currently delayed due to an ongoing additional activity to develop an understanding of the drought planning scenarios with SW. The final report was nearing completion and would be a large (over 200 pages) document when complete.
o CP questioned SV as to whether we were now in a position to quantify (and state) the Return Period of the Flood Event that occurred in November 2009.
o MS answered the question and confirmed that the Flood Event (as measured at Craig Douglas) was a 1 in 75 Year Flood Event. He noted that the further down the River Yarrow the more the level of the Flood Event reduced.
o MA questioned SV on the effect of the increase in the cill on flood levels at SML.
o SV answered the question and noted that the proposed SML Option with a 250mm increase in the concrete cill would marginally increase the loch levels during a Flood Event at SML.
o HGL are ongoing in quantifying these levels and the Feasibility Study will provide a full detail on the changes.
o SV noted that this marginal increase in flood risk at SML was offset by the substantial reduction in flood risk down the Yarrow and at Selkirk.
o MA noted that the marginal increase in flood risk should not be a problem but that this must be clearly explained to the people at the Public Exhibition and through the Marker Posts.
o SV explained to the meeting that the SML Option is most effective for the more common (lower return period) Flood Events and that at a Flood Event larger that 1 in 75 Years the benefits of the loch’s new storage capacity are overwhelmed.
o CP requested that Halcrow develop the appropriate figures to demonstrate the improvements in the Yarrow Valley and at Lindean for the lower return period Flood Events (i.e. 1 in 10, 1 in 25, 1 in 50 and 1 in 75).
o SV confirmed that Halcrow would develop these figures.
o VR questioned SV about the ‘Target Drawdown’ and in particular how the levels are controlled.
o SV answered this question through the slides in the presentation that

were prepared to explain the possible control system currently identified by the Project Team.
o There was also a general conversation about the water level regime throughout the year in the Yarrow. It was agreed that this will need further discussion.
o SV noted that the proposed system would require some form of Operator input at various times.
o KMH noted that Halcrow were proposing a Hydrostatic Pressure Level Instrument rather than a Ultrasonic Level Instrument as it would reduce the potential for error. In particular, such an instrument does not suffer from being drowned etc. and thus reduces the potential for a failure of the system and a breach of the new CAR Licence’s Compensation Flow.
o DS questioned SV as to what the Operating range for the Loch Level would be. In particular this touched on the existing Maximum Drawdown Level.
o SV answered this question and walked everyone through the levels in the slides on the presentation.
o VR queried the meeting as to whether anyone knew where the levels in the original Water Order came from.
o CP answered the question and confirmed that the levels in the original Water Order came from the Megget Scheme Project. They had been developed by the Project Team for that project. CP further identified that he had a full understanding of how the figures were developed and that this question had been the subject of a meeting between SBC (CP) and SEPA (Kate Comins) from September 2010. CP identified that he would brief VR fully at a separate meeting.
o VR noted that if the levels or Compensation Flow was to be amended then the proposal to do this would require to be backed up with the appropriate ecological reports to prove there would be no impact.
o DS identified that Scottish Water would want confirmation that in the event that the SML Option gets the levels wrong that Megget Reservoir would not be required to provide the additional water supply to SML.
o CP accepted this point on behalf of the Project Team and confirmed that they understood that the SML Option should be capable of standing along without a knock on effect on the Megget Reservoir.
o MA questioned SV as to how quickly the loch level could be dropped.
o SV identified that the figures had not been determined and there followed a number of calculations within the meeting.
o SV / JD confirmed, based on a basic calculation, which at a rate of 30m3/s and assuming no inflow to the loch the approx. 3M m3 could be removed in approx. 1.5 days.
o MA questioned SV as to whether the Flood Event at Cumbria (Cockermouth) in November 2009 was forecast.
o SV answered the question and confirmed that it was. He noted that the event was understood to be approaching for up to a week beforehand and full notice was available for 24 hours.
o There followed a discussion on human intervention required by Flood Protection Schemes.
o JD noted that such human intervention is common for FPS, and in particular where there is a flood gate that is not fully automatic.
o DS noted that this would require a human resource that was responsible for the tasks. He noted that SW do not currently have such resources and as such do not have someone that could manage the SML Outlet’s new infrastructure.
o DS questioned SV about the proposed use of the existing sluice gates.
o SV answered the question and noted that both gates, fully open, have a capacity of approx. 30m3/s (i.e. the 2 gates in series).
o DS confirmed that during a Flood Event SW do not currently interfere with the gate’s settings.
o There was a general discussion about the Control Philosophy that would be applied through the SML Option. This led to a discussion about controlling loch level and discharge.
o It was agreed that Halcrow had not completed their analysis of the Control Systems and that this would be discussed again.
o CP requested that Halcrow determine the Flood Event which can be completely contained by the proposed volume of storage at SML.
o JD noted that providing a natural variability to the River Yarrow flow should be beneficial.
o It was agreed that this would have to be discussed outwith the meeting with SNH and SEPA.
o DS identified that from SW’s experience that Operating Manuals / Systems needed to be prescriptive detailing exactly what has to be done under different scenarios.
o SV presented a slide on the Shoreline Retreat. This was still being forecast as identified at the Public Exhibition No. 1 from June 2010.
o DS queried how many days storage (assuming no input) the volume of water in the loch under the new proposals equalled.
o SV agreed to calculate this and report back to the next meeting.
o SV presented a slide with an update on the geomorphological assessment. This noted that there would be no serious geomorphological issues arising from the SML Option.
o NY questioned the potential for effects on fish movement through an altered geomorphological regime.
o SV noted this concern and agreed to report back after further investigation on this matter.
o SV presented a slide with an update on the environmental assessment. The main issue is the duration of the inundation of the loch during a Flood Event. SV identified that the SML Option should not result in the creation of a literal zone like that experienced at The Megget Reservoir.
o SV noted that he would report back to the meeting on this matter again.
Item No. 12
The SMLWG Newsletter:
 It was agreed that CP would generate Issue No. 2 of the SMLWG Newsletter to coincide with the promotion of the Public Notice Boards and the Marker Posts (assume early May 2011).
 It was agreed that the Newsletter would be designed with the Marker Posts in mind.
 There was a general discussion about the Marker Posts.
o It was agreed that a Public Notice Board would be installed adjacent each Marker Post.
o The locations were provisionally agreed as at the SML Angling Club, the SML Sailing Club, by Cappercleuch Hall, by the Sculptures on the Southern Upland Way and by Tibbie Shiels.
o It was agreed that CP would finalise the locations outwith the meeting.
Item No. 13
SMLWG Meeting No. 3:
 It was agreed that the meeting did not require a further meeting of the SMLWG before the Public Exhibition on 23rd and 24th May 2011.
 It was agreed that Meeting No. 4 would be held in June. It is assumed this is the key meeting and that the draft agreement will be forged at this meeting.
 It was agreed that Meeting No. 5 would be held in August. It is assume that this meeting will finalise the SML Option so that it can be included in the Selkirk FPS.
 It was agreed that CP would arrange the meetings.
 SV identified that the draft Feasibility Report would be circulated once
 It was agreed that the SML Option Exhibition Board which is to be displayed at the Public Exhibition in Selkirk would be distribute to the SMLWG members in advance.
Item No. 14
 DS queried the possibility of early delivery.
 CP answered this question and confirmed that SBC had no issues delivering the SML Option as soon as the FPS was formally approved but that SBC could not deliver the SML Option until the FPS was formally approved.

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