Crop puzzle

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The Observer article relating to potential crop losses to farmers in Pagham remains something of a puzzle.

WSCC’s nature reserve manager stated at the open meeting in June there had been problems with the seawall sluices. It appears the control structors have been readjusted by EA engineers.

Local observations indicate the upper reaches of the Pagham Forebridge Rife are still heavily surcharged out of bank in some areas and hardly moving.

Farmers report thankfully that EA machinery has arrived to carry out some remedial works to banks, notwithstanding the seasonally abnormal rainfall in June, the local worry is the adopted nature reserve management policy to maintain the lower rife valley as a permanent wetland by means of drainage control structures and extensive new reed beds should be re-examined.

Farmers report the crops lost and medium-term damage to soil structure will result in job losses (20 paid off already).

The EA reports that no flows from the Lavant have been diverted to Pagham. We shudder to think what might have happened should up to an additional four cubic metres per second had also affected the system.

The residents of Mill Farm Estate are understandably perplexed.

R Radmall

Chairman,

Pagham Parish Council