I AM following with great interest the lively debate on the River Great Ouse dredging debate initiated a few weeks back by W B Carter s letter. Thank you for giving this important issue the attention it deserves. As a boater on the River Great Ouse, I hav

I AM following with great interest the lively debate on the River Great Ouse dredging debate initiated a few weeks back by W B Carter's letter. Thank you for giving this important issue the attention it deserves.

As a boater on the River Great Ouse, I have to agree with both Brian Carter and David Noble, both acknowledged experts with long experience of this river system, that lack of dredging the river channel is short-sighted and will inevitably exacerbate flooding problems and continue to cause difficulties to recreational navigation.

I find the statement by Peta Denham of the Environment Agency (September 10) that "river channels only convey water within their banks at low to medium flows" almost impossible to comprehend.

I can only hope that the Environment Agency will eventually have its Eureka moment and come to realise what is obvious to all who know this river well - that as it fills up with silt the channel capacity decreases, the water gets away more slowly and the river overflows just like Archimedes's bath.

Of course silting is an ongoing problem and that is why it requires the regular maintenance dredging that was always undertaken before the Environment Agency took over responsibility and allowed national policy to override well-proven and established local solutions.

Your readers may like to see the attached photograph of Great Ouse River Board drag-line dredgers at work on the river near the Offords in the 1960s. Sadly, now we just see neglect and hear excuses.

DAVID MERCER

Payn Close

Hemingford Grey