Meadow Park has seen several instances of flooding over the autumn/winter months. We expect the park to be flooded every now and then as it is on the flood plain.
What we do not expect, or like, is the fact that the water flooding into the park is polluted. For several weeks earlier this year there was overflow from the holding storm tanks in the centre of the village. From the bridge over Gotham Road, by the fire station, you could see the water flowing into the brook. Samples have been taken and pollution has been recorded. Officially we have been told that the area should be alright if debris (some unpleasant) is picked up and the land is left for three weeks after each flood incident. This has obviously impacted on Forest School and the children are not able to use the park for several weeks. The log circle the children sit on to eat their lunch and plan their work was uprooted and moved by the force of the water, and the posts supporting the tarpaulin rain shelter needed some attention.
We are in contact with Severn Trent, the Environment Agency and other bodies trying to improve the situation regarding the overflow from the storm tanks in the centre of the village. Representatives from Severn Trent and the Environment Agency have come to evaluate the situation. As I write this they are thinking of possible solutions. The cheap and immediately effective way of dealing with the problem would be to build the storm tanks taller so that they hold back more of the polluted water mixed with rain water. Other solutions considered involve a lot of digging up of roads etc. There is a further problem regarding the treatment works at West Leake in that they can only deal with so much volume.
The committee feels it is essential that residents know when the park is being polluted and is seeking help from the relevant authorities regarding the wording on any signage and how to get permission to set up temporary signs in the centre of the village. A number of agencies need to be involved here from the Highways Authority (signs on roads) to the Environment Agency (regarding levels of pollution) and the different councils as well (County/Borough/Parish).
A number of trees have been planted in the park over the last few months (15 rowan and one ash in February) RBC provided some (planted in Bateman Field near the railway embankment) and others have been planted on field boundaries, particularly on the boundary along Bateman Road. On March 14th around 17 trees were planted in the park, some wild cherry on the Bateman Road boundary and a couple of oaks in Gibson Field. The willows were also pollarded with some of the thicker shoots used to extend the tunnel sculpture near the Bateman Road entrance.
In planting trees our aim is to maintain the traditional open fields and only plant trees on margins/boundaries. It is an underreported fact that grassland captures carbon and if it is not ploughed too deeply will retain that carbon. Planting trees is one aspect of carbon capture, grassland also plays a part in the overall picture.
Lastly, we were given the chippings from two mature trees that had to be cut down in another part of the village and these were put down on non-limestone pathways to keep them as free of mud as possible.
To find out more visit the village website (www.east-leake.co.uk) and look under ‘organisations’. Pick up an application form from Mel’s shop or the parish Office. We also have a Facebook page.
Membership per year costs £3 for an individual or £5 for a household.