Article for Hughenden News Spring Edition

The Stream, Water Table and the Sewers

The winterbourne stream flows again this year in the village, and that makes it two years in a row, in itself a bit of a rarity. Although the stream dried up in the upper reaches last summer, it kept flowing all the way through from Church Farm. Since January, the source of the stream has gradually worked its way back up the Valley and through the village. At the time of writing, the stream is flowing from the ditch opposite the Harrow and down through the village. Strangely, it does not appear in the Hopkins Farm field alongside Valley Road, but re-emerges in Boss Lane.

The downside of having the stream up is that the water table is up in the Valley also. This applies particularly along Valley Road towards the pumping station. Here we know that the sewer main running to High Wycombe is currently full. In a wet winter such as this latest one, ground water and surface water infiltrate the system and overload it. The net result is the risk of sewage escapes, an unpleasant experience. Householders here are watching the situation closely and checking levels in their inspection pits. Thames Water is fully alerted to this situation and if it worsens we may need to call in temporary overpumping systems to help ease the pressure in the sewer main.

Trees Road & Trees Avenue

During the winter it was decided to try and build a small team to perform some self-help on the drainage grills at the foot of Trees Road. Both Trees Ave and Trees Road are un-made up and prone to clogging the drains and allowing water to sweep down onto Valley Road causing a few issues. A small team already existed cleaning the grills in Trees Ave.

The net result was a WhatsApp group of about 15 residents from both roads to perform periodic cleaning. The group go together on 24th January – a day of heavy snow you might recall – for the first clean. The job itself is not trivial, especially this first one, as the job had not been done on Trees Road for years. The team was led by David Mynors who showed the rest how to dismantle the grids and clear the drainage conduits. This was a great result, after two hours of hard work, with everyone wishing that a visit to the Harrow was possible.

Since then, TfB have visited after much badgering to perform a jetting & drain cleaning operation. They are needed to clear out the drains and pipework adjacent to the drainage grills. All we have to do now is persuade TfB that the rest of the road drains in Hughenden Valley need cleaning.


A special meeting of HVDIG took place at the end of January via Zoom and HVDIG is now part of the residents association and led by Peter Cannon, the Chairman. We are now called the HVRA Drainage Improvement Group.

As a first step, the HVDIG website has been altered to include the name changes and now incorporates the HVRA website banner/heading that emphasises the new identity. Further changes will take place over time, such as constitution and banking.