It was eerily quiet on Manor farm when I took my mid week jaunt. Not a lot appeared to have happened. The odd hint that something had been done, but not much can be seen from the South footpath.
As I walked east, past the extremely smelly sewage works, I spied two diggers resting (it was lunchtime) by the boulder sorter outer.
Then two John Stacey lorries trundled by, followed by the clankity clank of the bulldozer, languidly trundling westward along the main trackway through Manor farm. Two further John Stacey lorries then followed.
Only on Friday evening (not my usual time to visit the reserve, but as I hinted in an earlier posting, I have a series of family engagements during the next two months that will disrupt my schedule) did I spot the extent of the work this last week. Inert have built a 'causeway' almost linking the south and north shores of Finch pond.
As I now have a handle, sort of, on how the infill process works, I would suggest that the causeway is actually a boundary and used to aid infilling on either side.
It also explains the need to drain the lakes for infilling. Lorries, and our bulldozer driver, will have to reverse along these 'causeways'; I've not actually seen this, but the tyre tracks hint at it. If a vehicle was to slip into the lake then far better it does so in four or five feet or less of water than the ten to fifteen feet or more of the normal lake level. I kind of knew that, but it is only when you see the 'causeways' that it really comes home.
Other news on the site.
The pump was silent. Again, I am not sure if it was deliberate or if the diesel has run out. It has been somewhat dry (we got the first bit of rain in two months, this morning) so the lake may not be filling as fast. Certainly the lakes and ponds in Fleet Hill farm are getting low. However, I did notice that water was seeping out at one point along the base of the north embankment. This would make the ground unstable for heavy plant.
The boulders and rubble that appeared on part of the vehicle track near the pump station has disappeared. I'm not sure exactly when or how. It is possible that they were pulverised and used to surface some of the vehicle track near the pump station and on the Hampshire side of the reserve. There has been an awful lot of vehicle movements.
Some strimming has taken place on the east side of the embankment that runs along the Longwater road. It's very curious. I didn't wander along it to see how far north it extended or if it went round the north embankment; I was a bit pushed of time, the memsahib was waiting for me on the Longwater road. I am just wondering if the strimming was done for surveyors or environment agency folk to get easy access to the embankment; just like with the track cut on the north embankment.
A lock (sort of) has appeared on the gate across the works bridge/south footpath. OK, it wont stop anyone getting into the site, but it will stop casual walkers or their dogs from doing so. I'm not sure when it appeared as I do not always walk down to this point over the weekend.
I'm sure there is plenty more I've missed. I only turn up once or twice a week. I really must get back over to the Fleet Hill farm side of the reserve to continue cataloguing the lakes and ponds, but I can't be dealing with all this blisteringly hot weather. There isn't much cover on Fleet Hill farm. My partner did worry about all the saplings and whether they would survive in this, effective, drought. Quite a lot of the plants on the site are either suffering or dead.
A word about my wildlife photos. For the most part I am posting these on the RSPB Wildlife forum.
I need a spirit level in my camera to help me hold it level.
A polite notice first: All photographs on this blog are owned by me and subject to copyright.