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Post Info TOPIC: PENNINGTON FLASH. Issues & Concerns


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RE: PENNINGTON FLASH. Issues & Concerns


The clearing of the Spit is now over for this year until it's safe to go back on at the end of the year. When we should only need to spend a day on it, thanks to everyone who helped. And birders thanks for your understanding biggrin



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David Shallcross



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Thank you, Colin, we have another section to do next week then we will leave it alone till next back end, we will be doing other things though



-- Edited by David Shallcross on Wednesday 13th of March 2024 02:56:10 PM

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David Shallcross



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Sterling work by the LOS volunteers today, continuing the clearance of vegetation from the spit and surrounding area. Great work everybody, I thought it was lost forever 12 months ago.



-- Edited by colin davies on Wednesday 13th of March 2024 02:27:36 PM

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Info on the situation of the Pond Green Lane end.

I discussed with the Council yesterday about the filling in of the water body that Colin told me about.

the council solicitors have been in touch with the owners and have stopped any further work on it. They will have to make everything good and put it back to how it was before. It's taken a while but got there in the end.

Another matter, the Volunteer group are going on the spit the first week in February to sort out the invasive tree/vegetation growth, we have also got LTNC involved to help. I will be asking for the public's help with this and hope some birders and photographers come along. (exact date later)



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David Shallcross



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Unfortunately I didn't go that way today. Got a dicky ankle at the moment so accessed Horrock's hide from the main car park, then drove to Common lane to access the ruck in the afternoon. I'm sure it will be good though.



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Originally posted today by David Shallcross:

is the view from the leaning post any better now, after our recent work



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I hope my email finds you well.

 

I'm writing to update you on the work completed yesterday with the LOS Volunteers. As you can see from the attached photos, we took out the American Dogwood near Ramsdales Hide and I treated it to prevent regrowth. We then also began to clear the view from the leaning posts near Ramsdales Rucks.

 

As such for the next session next Wednesday (15/11/2023) we will finish clearing the view from the rubbing posts. We will meet at the viewing posts at 10am as usual. 

 
 

Kind regards,

 

Mark Forristal

 

Wigan Assistant Project Officer

 

The Wildlife Trusts for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside

Worsley Mesnes Drive

Wigan

WN3 5UF

 

07745206262

01942 246 415



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David Shallcross



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Volunteer morning on Wednesday 9-30 at the compound or 10 am at Ramsdale's



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David Shallcross



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Thank you Craig I have filled it in.



-- Edited by David Shallcross on Tuesday 24th of October 2023 06:26:17 PM

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David Shallcross



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Theres also a survey about how people want to see the flash managed here online1.snapsurveys.com/interview/eac0e543-94e3-47f5-86fe-0883c138445a

Id really encourage people to complete it as its a big chance to influence what goes on at the site

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PF draft management plan comments please



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David Shallcross



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A couple of dates for volunteering
 
Wednesday 11th of October to cut back vegetation in front of Ramsdales Hide, meeting at 10 am at Ramsadales or the compound container 9-30 am. We will be joined once again by Mark of Lancashire Wildlife Trust. Another diary date is Wednesday the 25th
 
The Spit is proving difficult to bring back under control after over 2 years of neglect, water levels are the biggest problem.


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David Shallcross



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Thanks for all of your efforts David. I've called into the office myself a few times to keep reminding them. To be fair, they said they'd do it and they have, so far so good.



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thanks Colin, it's taken some pushing, badgering etc, the promise is that it will be kept clear.



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David Shallcross



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The spit is currently being cleared! From the boat club it appears to be about 70% complete which is not bad since they hadn't even started at 10:30. Hopefully by the end of tomorrow it will be completely clear and will be kept clear into the foreseeable future.



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Both are true, the contractor will do the major part of the work, mechanical etc, the volunteers can assist with clearing the debris off the spit. 

 

By bite the bullet I mean that we take the opportunity when it arises, weather wise even if it is not what normally would be the ideal time.  

Sorry I havent made myself clear Colin.   

According to discussions this will be done annually.  Thanks for your message, Colin it is very much apreciated, so many complain but don't bother to positivly reply. (suggest or advise)



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David Shallcross



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Hi David, 

I'm not sure that I quite understand you. You suggest "we bite the bullet and get on with clearing it" which seems to imply that you're looking for volunteers,  but then further down say "The Council has allotted funds for a contractor to do the hard work on there". Could you just clarify this for me.

Thanks



-- Edited by colin davies on Saturday 29th of July 2023 10:54:28 PM

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Good day all, in view of the spit being so overgrown and "not fit for purpose" would it be in order to suggest we bite the bullet and get on with clearing it at say the end of August, it's difficult to get on with machinery etc. while water is high so that's why i'm suggesting this action, if a window of opportunity comes. What are your thoughts? I don't think we will cause any more concern to birdlife as we fishermen hiding at the bottom of the spit some days.
The Council has allotted funds for a contractor to do the hard work on there and I have suggested various works to stop access, the volunteers will liaise with the council and contractor regarding our assistance during the works.
PS Other areas have been highlighted for maintenance. Ramsdale, Edmondsons, leaning post view, back of Ramsdales, pond, wildflower meadows.
Let's keep positive and hope that the last 18 months and especially this week's discussions will happen.
 
Your thougts would be apreiciated 


-- Edited by David Shallcross on Saturday 29th of July 2023 01:06:21 PM

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David Shallcross



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Colin, the Enviroment Agency "may" be interested in this activity.



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Fishermen at the top of the spit this morning. Completely ignoring the Nature Reserve keep out signs of course. 



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Yes I have seen that Craig, I have sent a link to the council and will raise this at the next meeting, thank you for your message



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David Shallcross



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I didnt witness it personally but have seen pictures of a horse rider taking their mount for a swim over the weekend. Dave - can this be raised at the meetings? Its getting close to the point where the weather will bring the crowds and associated boats swimmers etc. I know its been raised with the council before but so far it seems nothing has been done. If you can take a horse for a swim without staff intervention anything could happen.

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thank you Colin, we will attempt to clear the view in front of Ramsdales as soon as I'm fit, hopefully, next week I've had a few pobs this last 6 months



-- Edited by David Shallcross on Friday 17th of March 2023 01:32:15 PM

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David Shallcross



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Thanks David. I've just been to Horrocks hide, it's not open yet but the work looks complete.  Apparently it just needs cleaning out then should be open today or tomorrow, so I'm told.



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Some repairs have been done to Ramsdales and FRH hides,

The spit is a disaster, still hasn't been strimmed, the contractor arrived yesterday and said the water was too high for him to get onto it.



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David Shallcross



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I have had a meeting with the Council today, the contract has been given to Lancs Wildlife Trust to clear the Spit before the breeding season, I have also been in touch with LWLT to try to gee them on.



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David Shallcross



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I don't know what more i/we can do it's like banging my head against a wall as the saying goes! Do any of the birding community write in to complain ? 

 



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David Shallcross



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Still no sign of the work at the flash being completed, Horrocks hide remains closed for coming on 3 months now for the sake of a new wooden ramp, the spit is still badly overgrown approaching the breeding season.  Nothing changes, they call it a NNR  but nature and wildlife is still bottom of the list.



-- Edited by colin davies on Wednesday 8th of February 2023 08:43:23 AM

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There is a meeting open to all at the turnpike next Wednesday at 4 pm to discuss Pennington and the NNR

 

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/turnpike-drop-in-community-voices-for-the-flashes-national-nature-reserve-tickets-461657970417



-- Edited by David Shallcross on Thursday 17th of November 2022 06:33:32 PM

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David Shallcross



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We had a meeting today at LSV, between the Council, LSV, and flash users. Everything is hoped to be open for business on the 1st Feb. Work on the spit and in front of hides to remove invading plant life will be done by Lancs Wildlife Trust they may want the Volunteer group to be involved, as we have controlled it for the past 6 years.
The line of the sailing buoys is being adjusted these have moved significantly over time toward the car park shore and Nature Reserve.
Swimming or canoeing is not allowed from the car park side of the flash, so if you see any groups/ individuals please politely inform them that they can do that from the Yacht club slip.
The head ranger at the Flash is Joe Greenhalgh. he will soon have two assistants who will patrol the paths in daytime working hours
We all can assist the council and rangers if we report to them or the golf shop cabin, the golf shop will be relocated into the new building after the 1st Feb


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David Shallcross



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Thanks Steve, I'll do that.



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The forum link to the GMLRC website is out of date. The new address is https://gmlrc.org/wildlife_recording/simple/

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colin davies wrote:

I'm not sure how Sorrowcow pond fits into Pennington Flash, is it part of the nature reserve or just an adjacent pond? However, over the past few weeks I've noticed that the invasive plant floating pennywort Hydrocotyle ranunculoides has seemingly taken hold. It's described as "a strong contender for the title of worst aquatic weed in the UK", having spread from garden ponds. It's been banned from sale since 2014 and it's illegal to introduce it into the wild, yet I've never seen it here before this year and it undoubtably has been introduced by somebody recently, probably accidentally or carelessly. It's obviously also a potential threat to other ponds around the flash. More info here https://www.invasive-species.org/species/floating-pennywort/

 



-- Edited by colin davies on Thursday 3rd of November 2022 02:34:40 PM



Hi Colin,

I've just seen your post. Pennington Flash has three boundaries as far as nature conservation is concerned.

1. The Site of Biological Importance (SBI) which covers the main flash, nature reserve and most of the land adjoining the flash. It also includes Sorrowcow Pond Pennington Flash SBI boundary

2. The Local Nature Reserve (LNR) which does not include the flash itself, nor Sorrowcow Pond. The LNR boundary can be viewed on Defra's MAGIC website Pennington Flash LNR boundary A search doesn't seem to locate the LNR so the easiest way to find it is from the Table of Contents menu by selecting
Designations
Land-Based Designations
Statutory
Local Nature Reserves (England)
You can then zoom in on the map to find Pennington Flash

3. The National Nature Reserve boundary which is an amalgamation of the SBI and LNR.

Thanks for flagging up the presence of floating pennywort in the Sorrowcow pond. It would be worth alerting Wigan Council's Biodiversity Officer and also the GM Ecology Unit who are responsible for selecting and monitoring the SBI. I'll send you a pm shortly with their contact details. I'd also recommend submitting a record to GMEU/GMLRC so they can include it in their Invasive Non Native Species data. The easiest way to do this is by clicking on the GMLRC logo at the bottom of the forum.

Steve

-- Edited by Steve Atkins on Thursday 17th of November 2022 03:00:02 PM

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From Wigan Council's Twitter:

"The access road to the flash (off St Helens Rd) is now closed to vehicles Monday - Friday for the next three weeks to allow for essential utilities works. The road will still be open on Saturdays and Sundays"

So, that'll be 14-18 Nov, 21-25 Nov, 28 Nov - 2 Dec

Wigan Council on Twitter: " Pennington Flash visitor notice Please note: The access road to the flash (off St Helens Rd) is now closed to vehicles Monday - Friday for the next three weeks to allow for essential utilities works. The road will still be open on Saturdays and Sundays. https://t.co/HJKIntJ8oS" / Twitter

 

I'd suggest using Morrison's CP instead



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Just in case anybody is planning on visiting the flash in the next few weeks, be aware that the main car park is closed to vehicles Monday to Friday until 5th December. 

Also, Horrocks hide has been closed for at least a week and shows no sign of reopening. I'm not sure why or when it will reopen,  but I suspect its the ramp up to it which is becoming rotten and unsafe.

 



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I'm not sure how Sorrowcow pond fits into Pennington Flash, is it part of the nature reserve or just an adjacent pond? However, over the past few weeks I've noticed that the invasive plant floating pennywort Hydrocotyle ranunculoides has seemingly taken hold. It's described as "a strong contender for the title of worst aquatic weed in the UK", having spread from garden ponds. It's been banned from sale since 2014 and it's illegal to introduce it into the wild, yet I've never seen it here before this year and it undoubtably has been introduced by somebody recently, probably accidentally or carelessly. It's obviously also a potential threat to other ponds around the flash. More info here https://www.invasive-species.org/species/floating-pennywort/

 



-- Edited by colin davies on Thursday 3rd of November 2022 02:34:40 PM

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I'll bring it up at a meeting with the council in a couple of weeks but in the meantime, I'll email James Winterbottom about it, Craig.

P.S. are you being invited to the Council/ Leigh sports village/ LOS meetings, they are quarterly at LSV



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David Shallcross



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Not really sure what's going on at Ramsdales, but again there's a smell of smoke around the hide and it's the only hide locked again. There's some very sad people in this world.



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colin davies wrote:

I assume that the hide you're referring to is Ramsdales? I was there when it was opened this morning,  unfortunately some nice person had decided to have a fire inside and although largely undamaged because its made of breeze block, one of the wooden ledges was destroyed, the second to be burnt in that hide. Perhaps its been kept locked while they assess the damage. At least you can view Ramsdales without the need to use the hide.


 Yes it was ramsdales thanks for the information, 

 

 

 



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I assume that the hide you're referring to is Ramsdales? I was there when it was opened this morning,  unfortunately some nice person had decided to have a fire inside and although largely undamaged because its made of breeze block, one of the wooden ledges was destroyed, the second to be burnt in that hide. Perhaps its been kept locked while they assess the damage. At least you can view Ramsdales without the need to use the hide.



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My first visit to Pennington in many months very disappointed to see one hide locked and the feeding station overgrown and no food so no birds on the plus side did see a green sandpiper year tick 



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Just another Saturday at Pennington Flash, temporary toilets on the car park burnt down overnight, hides left open all night and swimmers going in off car park. Apparently the new cafe building has already had two windows smashed earlier in the week. 



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I've noticed that the hides at the Flash appear to have been permanently open for about the past 2 weeks. Last night I was in Horrocks until 8.30pm, this morning it was open at 7am and in between those times somebody had left some litter. 



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John Watson wrote:

The development has been scaled back, though it would have been better if the alcohol licence had been removed completely

Pennington Flash: Nature reserve plans scaled back after backlash - BBC News


 

Without getting drawn into what became a very heated debate on other platforms, the GMBRG has been involved in discussions with Wigan Council and it seems apparent that the development was taken very much out of context. Below is a statement from Stuart Holden of Wigan Council but we (the GMBRG) are so far satisfied with the response, discussions and assurances we have over their plans. That is not to say we have been fully comfortable with everything it encompasses but long term the prospects for the site look much better and any deviation from that will be met with the full weight of the group.

“ Pennington Flash Nature Reserve is much loved and our priority is to cherish this wonderful place.  Producing a positive and thoughtful plan to bring people and nature together in a considered way is integral to our future vision for Pennington Flash Nature Reserve and has the full support of Natural England, whose purpose is to help protect and restore our natural world. We are and will continue to work closely with our local stakeholders and Natural England to deliver this and position Pennington Flash as a flagship for the modern-day nature reserve, which is demonstrated in our ongoing bid to see the site recognised as a National Nature Reserve.
“The Hide Coffee House is just one of many significant investments we are making to respond to feedback and to ensure local residents and visitors can enjoy all that Pennington Flash has to offer to its fullest. The coffee house will focus on offering good quality hot drinks and snacks to visitors, and on occasion host events in keeping with the location.

“As part of the plan, an alcohol and events licencing application has been submitted in order to provide flexibility for future plans. I’d like to reassure residents that the use of the proposed alcohol and events licence will be limited to very specific, well managed and appropriate events for the setting.



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The development has been scaled back, though it would have been better if the alcohol licence had been removed completely

Pennington Flash: Nature reserve plans scaled back after backlash - BBC News



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Dear friends, if you have an interest in knowing about developments at the flash, please register as follows. Regards David

 

Rearranged stakeholder engagement session

 

As the phase one project at Pennington is transitioning into its delivery phase I would like to invite you to a stakeholder engagement session on the 23.05.22. This replaces the session in early May that had to be cancelled

 

The session will commence at 17.30 and last for around 90 minutes. Key members of the project team will deliver the presentation within the boardroom at Leigh Sports Village with an opportunity for stakeholders to raise questions.

 

During the session, we will set out the anticipated programme for the delivery of the phase one work, and the anticipated level of disruption and provide an update on our plans to manage the site upon completion of the capital works through the partnership approach with colleagues operating Leigh Sports Village.

 

If you are able to attend the session I would be grateful if you could confirm your attendance in advance so that we provide refreshments for the anticipated attendees.

 

I hope that you are able to make the planned session and look forward to sharing the latest position on the day. If there are any queries in advance please do let me know.

 

Many thanks

 

 

Stuart Holden

Wigan Council

Be Well Service Manager  - Strategic development & Innovation

Email: Stuart.Holden@wigan.gov.uk

T: 01942 828234



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David Shallcross



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Thanks David

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Colin, this will be worth attending you could find out more about the NR proposals. There is a plan worked out by RSPB for restoration and enhancement of the NR but I think it's dependent on if Pennington is included in the NNR

 

Dear valued stakeholder

 

As the phase one project at Pennington is transitioning into its delivery phase I would like to invite you to a stakeholder engagement session on the 11.04.22 .

 

The session will commence at 17.30 and last for around 90 minutes. Key members of the project team will deliver the presentation within the boardroom at Leigh Sports Village with an opportunity for stakeholders to raise questions.

 

During the session we will set out the anticipated programme for the delivery of the phase one work, the anticipated level of disruption and provide an update on our plans to manage the site upon completion of the capital works through the partnership approach with colleagues operating Leigh Sports Village.

 

If you are able to attend the session I would be grateful if you could confirm your attendance in advance so that we provide refreshments for the anticipated attendees.

 

I hope that you are able to make the planned session and look forward to sharing the latest position on the day. If there are any queries in advance please do let me know.

 

Many thanks

 

 

Stuart Holden

Wigan Council

Development Manager Projects, Product and Bids

 

Email: Stuart.Holden@wigan.gov.uk

T: 01942 828234



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David Shallcross



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Seems like work is beginning on the new visitor centre and car park, apparently due to be completed by the end of the summer (see attached photo). There's not much mention of the nature reserve part of the flash but at least it's got a new logo. Anybody know of any proposed management, enhancement or restoration work which is likely to take place?



-- Edited by colin davies on Wednesday 30th of March 2022 05:35:36 PM

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Just to let you know that the Environment Agency are training at Pennington over the next 4 weeks (possibly Tuesdays and Thursdays).
They are training on managing incidents including the likes of oils spills etc. as such you may see booms and boats. It is purely a training exercise
 
 
 
 
 
 


-- Edited by David Shallcross on Sunday 17th of October 2021 10:55:14 PM

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