Thursday, October 6, 2011

Camboaters Newsletter October 2011

Camboaters Newsletter October 2011

Dear All,

Before I commence with the preamble and the rest of it, “Charlotte I doff my hat to you!” Thank you very much for all your hard work and taking the lead organising the Inaugural World Rivers Day Festival on the River Cam. An equally BIG THANK YOU must go to Amy, Hannah, James and Mark for helping to make the day a huge success. The Camboaters’ Committee and Community can bathe in glory for putting on such a fantastic event for Cambridge. The River Cam was celebrated and homage was truly paid. So thanks to the rest of the community for taking part, those of you who opened your boats – thanks, you have done justice to showcase our wonderful sustainable way of life, which is no easy feat. However, many myths have been dispelled and much fun was had by all! Thanks to all who participated and attended you certainly created a vibrant, diverse atmosphere.

It has been a while since we had a Camboaters Newsletter, so here it is! We have had an eventful year so far and it is likely to become even more eventful as the Michelmas term commences. Camboaters has strived over the years to improve relationships with other river users especially rowers, with whom we usually have a close but fragile rapport. I know for some of you it won’t be easy and you probably won’t appreciate me reminding you of the simple courtesies we can extend to the novices and those regular faces we see on the river.

Cam Conservators Meeting I attended the Cam Conservators meeting on the 29th of September, as usual it was a lively affair. One of the issues to be decided on was Riverside - River traffic monitoring at Riverside and implications for the Conservators’ Mooring Policy. The purpose of this study was to use river traffic movement observations to assess whether the boats moorings along the Riverside retaining wall were restricting navigation to other river users by increasing the risk of collisions, accidental immersion or personal injury. In conclusion, the findings of this study were:

Most incidents observed involved rowing craft

Rower competency/experience is a major factor in the likelihood of an incident occurring

There is insufficient evidence to prohibit moorings at Riverside on navigational grounds

There is some evidence to suggest that the risk of navigational incidents could be reduced by only allowing the mooring of narrow-beam vessels along the length of Riverside

The discussion during the meeting centred on whether there should be a ban of boats or just wide-beam vessels along this stretch to make navigation easier for rowing vessel. The recommendation is to trim the foliage on the opposite bank and to swap wide-beam boats at the pinch points with narrow boats. I personally think it is a good idea and should be supported.

Future Finance Options Survey by Ecorys for the Conservators of the River Cam

The Conservators are currently looking into ways of raising funds in order to meet the increasing costs of maintaining and managing the river and fulfilling their statutory duties. The Conservancy currently faces an operating deficit of around £50,000 per year which, if no action is taken, will impact on the completion of essential asset maintenance work going forward.

In deciding how best to balance their books, the Conservancy want to get the views of as many stakeholders as possible. We would therefore be very grateful if you could find time to complete the survey, which should take around 10 minutes.

Ecorys is an independent research organisation appointed to carry out this consultation exercise. Ecorys is registered under the Data Protection Act and observes the Market Research Society Code of Conduct. Please note that your responses will be treated in the strictest confidence.

If you have any queries about the survey, please contact Jo Barham of Ecorys on 0113 290 4106.

Or contact the River Manager: Tel: River Manager: 01223 863785

The survey can be filled in online at:

The closing date for the survey is Friday 7th October 2011!

*Camboaters Committee Meeting: 6:30PM, Thursday 20th October 2011. Waterman Pub

*Camboaters AGM: 6:30pm, Thursday 24th November 2011.

This year the Camboaters committee have done a fantastic job organising events such as the Clean UP and the World Rivers Day Festival. We are looking for a new committee to be elected, to carry on the good community work that outlines what Camboaters is all about. Join us on the 24th November even if you don’t intend to stand for the committee, it will give you an opportunity to meet and elect the new committee members and help them to organise the event schedule for the coming year.

It is very important that we continue to improve and develop as a community especially now that we have proven that we are capable of defending ourselves from the injustices of bureaucracy, prejudice and inequality! More importantly we are extremely good at putting on events which showcase Cambridge and bring communities together.

If you wish to stand for the 2011-12 Camboaters Committee, please declare your intention by emailing Please state why you wish to stand and what you hope to achieve with Camboaters over the coming year.

If you have any ideas for Camboaters events, socials, recipes, boat maintenance, stories, games, work barter or just any encouraging ditty, please send it to and we will share it with the rest of the community in the next Newsletter.

Temporary landing arrangements, Baits Bite Lock, River Cam‏

Drake Towage Ltd will be undertaking the refurbishment of the downstream landing stage at Baits Bite Lock on behalf of the Conservators of the River Cam

The start date for these works is Monday 3rd October 2011. The project is expected to last for 5 weeks.

The construction site will be fenced off. Members of the public will be prohibited from entering this area during the works.

A temporary landing stage has been provided immediately downstream of the construction site. It is demarcated with wooden posts. Mooring posts and a set of steps and a handrail have been provided for safety. Rowers are asked to portage using this temporary landing stage.

Customers with special access needs are asked to contact the Conservancy office at Baits Bite in advance to make arrangements (01223 863785, Mondays to Fridays, 9am to 5pm)

River users must take extra care when approaching Baits Bite Lock. Contractors’ barges will be moored near the downstream lock entrance and the piling works will at times be noisy. There will be additional vehicles using the towpath near the lock.

For out-of-hours emergencies, telephone the Conservancy River Foreman (07802 862711) or the Environment Agency incident reporting hotline (0800 80 70 60)

Thank you for your forbearance during this period of works. Your patience and understanding is appreciated.

Please visit the link below for the Cam Conservancy Events diary for the rest of the year 2011.

Kind regards