Non-native Invasive Species, Floating Pennywort found in River Witham

Floating Pennywort has been discovered on the Witham system for the first time, this invasive non‐native  species can cause issues by blocking out light, causing deoxygenation and blocking air breathing insects.

In  addition the plant can form large mats which can become very dense. The species spreads from plant  fragments so it’s important not to try not to break up any patches as this can aid and speed up its spread.

If you see any Floating Pennywort on the River Witham please report it by calling the Environment Agency’s  Incident Hotline 0800 80 70 60.

The characteristic leaves and growth help to make this plant easy to identify. It is found mostly in the south-east of England and occasionally in the north-west of England and Wales. Spreading rapidly.

First naturalised in 1990 as a result of discarded plants from garden ponds. Can grow up to 20cm per day and may quickly dominate a waterbody forming thick mats and impeding water flow and amenity use. May out-compete native species by blocking out light, causing deoxygenation, obstructing air breathing insects from reaching the water surface and reducing water temperatures.

Floating pennywort is listed under Schedule 9 to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 with respect to Scotland only. As such it is an offence to plant or otherwise cause this species to grow in the wild.

For further identification details please follow this link: Floating Penywort

Weed control  The Environment Agency and the Canal and River Trust take very seriously the issue of weed in the River Witham.

Both organisations appreciate that this year has seen particularly large build ups of weed and understand that this affects a range of waterway users.

This year, both  organisations have put additional effort into seeking solutions to the problem and ensuring efforts are as  coordinated as possible going forward.
In particular, we appreciate that weed can build up in large volumes at Grand Sluice.

The Environment  Agency is responsible for managing flood risk, therefore it can be difficult to justify removing weed when it is  not deemed to be a flood risk. The Environment Agency is not funded or resourced to carry out routine weed  flushes, but is happy to flush out weed from Grand Sluice when it is safe to do so and there are staff in the  area. Whilst the Environment Agency does have a responsibility to provide a minimum depth of water on the  Witham, they have no other formal responsibilities for navigation.   The Canal and River Trust is the navigation authority for the Witham with a remit of maintaining a channel of  navigation within the river. ng priorities. The

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New requirements for CO alarms for boats with accomodation for BSS

Following the public consultation in Autumn 2018 on proposed changes to the Boat Safety Scheme (BSS) the BSS Management Committee has decided that new BSS Requirements for carbon monoxide (CO) alarms on boats will be introduced from April 2019.

Strong support for the changes was demonstrated in the responses to the consultation with 84% in favour of introducing a requirement for suitable working carbon monoxide (CO) alarms.

All boats with accommodation spaces subject to the BSS will see mandatory checks introduced for suitable CO alarms in good condition and in appropriate locations. The requirements are designed to keep people on and around boats safe.

As well as protection from neighbouring boats, the CO alarms are also expected to prevent death or injury to boat owners from their own boat engines or appliances.

The alarms will warn people in the area about immediately dangerous levels of CO. They can also alert craft occupants to moderate levels of CO, which can be a long-term threat to health if left undetected.

BSS Manager, Graham Watts said:

‘We want to thank all the contributors to the consultation. Your comments and views have been exceptionally valuable and have caused us to reflect a little longer before publishing the checks in order to ensure that the wording is entirely clear.

The BSS will be publishing the new checks in detail in January/February 2019 on its website.

It’s encouraging that so many contributors already enjoy the protection of CO alarms, however if you are yet to be protected, please take a look at a list of CO alarms recommended as suitable for boats by the manufacturers’ body on the BSS Stay Safe CO advice webpages.

The mandatory new BSS Requirements will come into effect from 1 April 2019.


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CO alarms save lives!

“If you have any fuel burning appliances aboard, an engine or generator, fit a suitable audible carbon monoxide alarm for an added re-assurance.” – Boat Safety Scheme

Boaters are being urged to install a carbon monoxide alarm as the save lives, to read the full article or to find out more about carbon monoxide alarms, please click on theis link : CO alarms save lives!

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‘Be aware of CO alarms not working’, warns the Boat Safety Scheme

Choosing the right CO alarm could be the best purchase you ever make but be aware of false claims!

Following media reports this June about non-working imported carbon monoxide (CO) alarms sold on internet shopping sites, the Boat Safety Scheme (BSS) is cautioning boaters, that choosing the right CO alarm is an especially critical decision as boats can fill in minutes, sometimes seconds, with lethal levels of the highly toxic gas.
The BSS has teamed up with the CoGDEM (Council of Gas Detection & Environment Monitoring) to urge boaters to choose one from the list of CO alarms suitable for boats as recommended by the makers of independently certified products – the list can be found on the home page of the BSS website.
Incident reports collected by the BSS show that properly certified CO alarms have repeatedly protected skippers and crews from the hidden dangers of CO and ought to be regarded as part of the boat’s essential safety equipment.
The advice is to buy alarms that have been independently tested and certified by British Standards Institution (BSI), look for the Kitemark on the alarm or packaging or the Loss Prevention Certification Board, look for the LPCB Certification Mark.
CO alarms certified to BS EN 50291-2 are the best choice for boats, but if you have a CO alarm, BSI or LPCB certified to BS EN 50291, or 50291-1, CoGDEM’s advice is to keep it, test it routinely and when it needs replacing, choose a unit certified to BS EN 50291-2.
BSS Manager, Graham Watts said: Reports of new alarms, not working out of the box is very concerning, so our advice to anyone worried that they have bought a non-functioning alarm for their boat, is to reassure themselves by looking for the Kitemark or LPCB Certification Mark. Leigh Greenham, Director and Administrator at CoGDEM added: We cannot stress enough that CO alarms are vital pieces of life saving equipment, but only independently tested and certified alarms should be trusted to do this most important of jobs. There’s no substitute for the good installation, regular maintenance and correct use of fuel burning appliances and engine systems, but if despite these steps, CO still occurs, boaters can have confidence in independently certified alarms protecting them and their fellow crew members.

CO is produced when carbon-based, appliance and engine fuels, such as gas, LPG, coal, wood, paraffin, oil, petrol and diesel don’t burn completely.
It cannot be seen, smelt, tasted, or felt, that’s why it’s known as the silent killer!
When you breathe in CO, it replaces the oxygen in your bloodstream, preventing essential supplies to your body tissues, heart, brain and other vital organs.
Survivors of severe CO poisoning may be left with severe long-term neurological problems, with disturbances in memory, language, cognition, mood and behaviour, as can some people exposed to lower, non-lethal concentrations of the toxic gas.
Alarms not only warn people about immediately dangerous amounts of CO, they can alert people to the presence of the lower, but still health affecting, levels.

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Data Storage

Data storage:

I have emailed every member who I had an email address for seeking consent to store their information. Many, many have not responded, or their email address has changed.

Would everyone please spread the word and if you have not already done so please let me have your consent. Without consent consent I am forced to delete the members details from our records.

Thank you.

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