Another ‘Disastrous’ EA Report
Louis Jankel reports on the ongoing saga of Thames lock-keepers
Since 2008, the Environment Agency has been toying with the concept of replacing River Thames residential lock- and weir-keepers with ‘runners’. The justification is that the EA thinks it can save lots of money by letting out the cottages. After much to-ing and fro-ing, with almost unanimous objection from users, a study group was instituted to justify the policy, using the four (out of 45) lock cottages already having non-waterway tenants. After two years, the EA report was published with ridiculous figures. Sadly, the remaining two of the original four users, who were participants on the study group, inexplicitly agreed with the report and its content.
Don’t burn damp logs
- new advice from the Boat Safety Scheme
Boaters using damp wood and logs in their stoves could risk increased costs, stove damage and carbon monoxide poisoning. To burn effectively, wood needs to be dried out, or seasoned, to a maximum of 15-20% water content. A fresh 1kg log with 60% moisture may be able to give out just under 2kW of heat, whereas a 1kg log dried to 25% roughly doubles the heat output to about 4kW. You should use wood that burns easily and cleanlywith a good heat output, feels dry and has a hollow sound when tapped. Suitable wood often has cracks in the end where it has dried out.Wood fuel should be kept in a dry, well-ventilated area.
Dennis Hill gives abrief summary of the battle to save the last Paddle and Rymer weir on the Thames.
Back in 2010, the EA proposed to replace the Paddle and Rymer weir, which has been manned by professional lock staff since 1896, with motorised gates. The Agency was worried that their lock-keepers risked straining themselves to remove the paddles that allow water through the weir, and it had tests carried out to establish whether their staff were being exposed to health risks when using this type of weir. These results suggested that lock-keepers had to lift weights that were too heavy, so they decided to replace the complete weir with a modern concrete structure at a cost of £2.6 million of public money.
By the time you read this, our Twitter feed @NABO_Official will probably have over 1000 followers. Whether you choose @NABO_Official Twitter or our National Association of Boat Owners Facebook group, it is easy to keep in touch with the hot issues that are important to boaters, without the superfluous interference you find on many groups. So, if you haven't followed us yet, now would be a good time.
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