Concerns over low water levels in Gunpowder Mills

A concerned local has reported concerns over the low levels of water in one of the canals in the Gunpowder Mills that feeds the Mill Race.

The normal channels of communication with GBC have temporarily been curtailed following the cessation of the original Gunpowder Mills Group earlier this summer. To fill the gap, Chilworth2gether contacted the appropriate officials at GBC on behalf of the local concern, and alerted the Parish Council of the query.

Both responded promptly. St Martha Parish Council has been aware of the problem of sluggish water in some of the channels and slow flows of water for some time; it is aware that a metal plate inserted upstream some years ago has reduced the flow of water and is a potential cause of the problem.

St Martha has advised that they have already contacted the Environment Agency with the purpose of having the metal plate removed in order to restore the flow.

GBC on the other hand attributed the slow flow to the hot summer and less rainfall than usual; this is based on the advice it has been given. In addition, it has attempted to improve the damage to the Mill Race by introducing sand bags; it is commissioning a survey of the Mill Race, but thinks that the costs of full restoration may be prohibitive in the current climate.

Both Parish Council and GBC also point out the problem of silt and rubbish in the channels mean the channels will probably need to be dredged out to restore the right levels so that, if the water flow is increased, it can flow freely.

St Martha Parish Council has announced that it hopes to establish a sub-group of the Parish Council for the Gunpowder Mills in the autumn, which will represent its interests, and open up lines of communication again with GBC.