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Posted By Discussion Topic: Time for change?

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Cocklegat
Jun-13-2018 @ 9:24 AM                           Permalink
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A lot of discussion on the forum revolves around the conflicts of interest in how the Broads are used. For example the use of differing types of craft by people looking for differing types of experience. Just one example. It all really comes down to one thing and that is, demand outstrips resource.
Prior to the introduction of the railways the area had little interest as an area of recreation but in the intervening 150 years there has been a constant increase in demand to the point today where it is very difficult, some would say impossible, to meet everyones demands.
So is it time for a new look at how we balance those hugely differing needs? and is that possible?
One possibility does spring to mind.
East Anglia is seeing an unprccidented demand for new housing at the same time that farming is needing to increase production, all of which requires more water, in what is the driest part of the UK, an area facing increasing water shortage in the near future.  All that, has been seen in the past, as a threat to Broadland.  Yet it would be possible and economically viable to vastly increase the water area of the Broads by removing silt from old and decayed  waterways and creating new areas of open water.  This would improve the ecology of the area, and would make more room for water bourn activity and provide more freshwater resource.  The initial cost of doing this would be vast but seen in that wider context would make good economic sense. Already we see many farmers creating independent reservoirs, while at the same time the BA is limited on resource to dredge. All that in conjuction where water companies are looking to expand capacity and nature conservation bodies are concerned at encrorchment into pristine habitats and water quality.


Paladine
Jun-13-2018 @ 9:39 AM                           Permalink
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Rather than all that expensive soil removal (and who would pay?), wouldn’t it be simpler, cheaper and more effective to create barrages, with locks, on the Lower Bure, Waveney and Yare, raise the overall level of the Broads, and flood the water meadows (and a couple of hamlets)? This approach (or similar) has been successful in creating huge reservoirs in other parts of the country.

"..for the avoidance of any doubt, the broads are not legally a national park and do not come under the national park legislation, and nor will they."
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for DEFRA (Hansard 2015)

AndyMorley
Jun-13-2018 @ 12:02 PM                           Permalink
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Interesting to read people discussing different variants of this idea and subject.  I can remember when I was a child, reading about James Wentworth Day's proposals to create new broads by bulldozing soil to form elevated banks (I can't remember if his proposals entailed raising the overall water level in the Broads but I don't think they did).  As a boy, I was thrilled at this prospect.  Now, being somewhat older I don't tend to get so easily exited by things but still very interested to read about it now.  Where do people see the funding as coming from to finance such a big capital project?  That would be my first question!

Cocklegat
Jun-13-2018 @ 12:05 PM                           Permalink
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I understand that the Hydrography of the Broads is now better understood since the flood alleviation plan and indeed there is merit in the concept of both a tidal barrage at both GY and Lowestoft.  However I don't believe it would be beneficial to change the semi tidal nature of the Broads. Rather I was thinking of the huge opportunity there is in such places as the 'lost half'  of the Bure loop at Fleet dyke, Increasing Sutton Broad and the possibly of creating (once suggested) a new Broad on the lower Bure. Cost is indeed the problem,yet that is simply the way we are currently trying to account for it in isolation of the wider implications.



This message was edited by Cocklegat on Jun-13-18 @ 12:28 PM

ChrisHGB
Jun-13-2018 @ 4:38 PM                           Permalink
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Sutton Broad is owned by the RSPB I believe, so that would be a non starter, I think. Also was there not some hooha concerning water extraction twix Sutton and Catfield not long ago?. The Barrage idea would also face considerable opposition due to it changing an esturine environment into fresh water. If the later were adopted what would the effect be on the ancient rights of navigation if The Broads became non-tidal? Assuming that any barrage would be closed and not just when flooding threatened as in the case of The Thames Barrier.

Chris.



This message was edited by ChrisHGB on Jun-13-18 @ 4:39 PM

Cocklegat
Jun-13-2018 @ 6:40 PM                           Permalink
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I for one would never wish to see the Broads non tidal. The proposed barriers would be similar to the Delta plan idea across the water in Holland, that is to provide protection from storm surge and also to be able to retain the existing quality of the water. It's a good point about segmented 'ownership' of marshland and it is indeed true that organisations such as the RSPB are famously narrow minded!  The fact that you could re-create Sutton Broad and at the same time improve the ecology seems beyond such organisations. Water abstraction is indeed another huge problem yet as a society we need local farmers. Were the water available it could take an increase in abstraction.

TerryTibbs
Jun-13-2018 @ 8:32 PM                           Permalink
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At the rate that agricultural land is being covered by so called “Green energy” solar panels, the question of water abstraction may no longer be a consideration.
Other than that both the O/P and Pallys response are fascinating.

Dave

if it is to be it is up to me.

Cocklegat
Jun-14-2018 @ 10:14 AM                           Permalink
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The reason for posting in the first place was to see what people thought about the general idea. As for solar panels I have no objection where they don't impact the visual landscape.  
The Broads landscape is after all a complete fabrication of the human need to 'improve' agriculture and of course the need to utilise raw materials. Places where you find marsh orchids are places where raw materials are abstracted(Reed cutting) Our 'navigation rights' come about from the commercial use of the waterways in the past. The pressure today comes from the need to find new and better ways to maintain a diversity of landscapes and provide useable waterways for both pleasure and to provide irrigation and drainage.


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