Living, as I do, directly on a riverbank, I’ve become aware of how users of the river don’t always treat it as well as they should. I’m appalled at the amount of old rubbish that gets washed up on the banks and annoyed by people in boats constantly disregarding the speed limit!
There is a speed sign right by our home, informing people of the maximum speed allowed. This is not there for adornment, as some obviously think, but to limit the amount of damage caused to the banks by the wash from passing boats. Natural erosion of the riverbanks obviously occurs, but is greatly increased by speeding boats churning things up. And why does this matter? We need to protect the wildlife and landscape (and more selfishly my home)!
One of the greatest offenders at exceeding the speed limit, I’m sad to say, is the army. They charge past in their little boats, but for what reason? The river narrows when it reaches us, becoming more twisted and narrower still just beyond. Not great for army manoeuvres I would have thought – although, of course, there is a pub a little further up! Surely if the army want to test their speedy boats, they would be better heading in the other direction, where the river widens out into the estuary and on to the sea.
We rarely see the river police enforcing the speed limit and of course there are no flashing signs displaying sad faces like you see on the roads. What I would really like is a ‘Brian-Blessed-Ometer’ – a device that would be triggered by speeding boats and would boom out in the great man’s voice, “What do you think you’re playing at you annoying river hog?”
Of course, many river users do exhibit consideration, and to them I’m very grateful. Those who don’t take as much care may just be ignorant of the potential damage that they can cause, and to them I request that they stop and think about the effects that their actions can have on nature.
And Brian, if you’re reading this, your input would be appreciated!