We invited Brian Clews to talk to us about the wildlife on the Jubilee River on 15 November. Very many thanks to everyone who came along. The event was open to members and non-members and was well attended with visitors from outside Datchet too.
Wildlife expert Brian Clews has lived in the area for 48 years, been involved with the local RSPB Group for 40 years, and published the monthly Berkshire Bird Bulletin for 30 years from 1986 to 2015. He was a co-author for the latest Berkshire Bird Atlas project (a countywide survey and conservation programme), and has written three other local books. Through working part-time with WildGuides Publishers, he has contributed to about 30 other natural history books.
The Jubilee River, the flood alleviation scheme from Cookham to Datchet, was constructed in 2000. Brian’s talk looked at the wildlife it has affected and attracted. (This is of particular interest to Datchet given the proposals to build a second flood alleviation scheme, the River Thames Scheme [RTS] from Southlea in Datchet to Teddington.)
Brian has vast experience in this area. After the Jubilee River was built, he surveyed both banks of the entire river every week for 10 years until the funding ran out. When the RTS was proposed, the Environment Agency had no up-to-date survey data on the Jubilee River so they asked again for Brian’s help. Brian surveyed the river throughout last winter. He has also been involved in the design of the RTS to make it wildlife-friendly.