Why I do not like Water Weekend or Sleaford Navigation.
Water Weekend : I believe that Water Weekend has been canceled for 2007 and a decision whether to carry it on the next year will be made sometime later, hurray for common sense.
UPDATE: I have been told that Water Weekend will be replaced this year (2008) by a ‘Celebration of the new New Street Bridge’ – in other words ‘Water Weekend’ 🙁
I don’t like Water Weekend because 0f the Raft Races, this is where people make rafts and race them up and down the Slea. The Slea just isn’t wide enough to cater for Raft Races without affecting the wildlife to an enormous extent. The participants are trying to get from A to B in the shortest time and have little regard for hitting the bank, putting their oars in the reeds and making as much splashing as they can. This event takes place DURING the nesting season, you can imagine on a narrow river that this puts any nest at considerable risk especially if it has eggs or very small babies in it, by tipping the nest with oars/raft or the wash. Also (as happened last year) it can compress the wildlife in a smaller area than normal which can result in the deaths of baby Moorhens and Coots in particular. This is because both of these are very territorial and if one family venture (or are pushed) into another family’s territory the outcome will be vicious and any young probably killed. I have no actual proof that this happened last year (2006), but the balance of probability is that at least 3 baby Moorhens were killed by Water Weekend. To me this it is the most likely scenario as one Moorhen family were pushed into another’s territory near the Leisure Centre and the 3 babies were never seen again.
If the river Slea was wider then raft races might not affect the wildlife as much, but it is just too narrow for things like this in my opinion.
Sleaford Navigation: coming soon