Comparing google earth images from 2014 against those from 2017, it became clear to me that Inert have already filled in large parts of the Manor farm part of the reserve: a long thin pond to the south of Finch pond and the area I call the land mass i.e. between the copse and Cormorant lake.
I suspect other landscaping took place around Manor lakes north and south, with planting of reed beds as well.
There I thought that all the restoration had started sometime last year.
Ploughing on with this week's instalment. It never pays to second guess what Inert will get up to next. Having predicted they might go ahead and fill in the flat depression along the north shoreline of Finch pond, they instead have concentrated on the south shore of Finch pond and north west corner of Manor farm. I also note, on my Thursday visit, that spoil was being dumped near the pump station.
Inert are constructing an enormous pile of spoil in the north west corner of Manor farm. It covers a large area, and exceeds the target infill level by a couple or so feet. At its north end is a huge mound of spoil. I'm not sure if this is indicative of the eventual height of this structure or simply the way that Inert work.
Although I saw the bulldozer working this area on Thursday, the marks in the ground I saw today suggests the digger also joined in the fun.
I've seen Inert exhibit this behaviour before. They build an enormous structure or fill in an area (e.g. south of Finch pond) then either bulldoze it all down or scrape it all up. Perhaps they need the space on the Hampshire side of the reserve or maybe they can only get sufficient haulage lorries for a short space of time.
Even more curious is a structure built just to the south of the Longwater road entrance. It is a low (2' - 60cm) thin bank of soil in the shape of a very large U or staple. The open ends of this structure are protected by the 'concrete cube' i.e. the concrete sewer sections. I cannot for the life of me work out what it is for. It is beautifully crafted.
It is hard to work out precisely what Inert have been doing along the south shore of Finch pond. There are signs of activity, but I can't place my finger on what was done.
The wide track of crushed rock, near the pump station and works bridge, has been cleared again. I'd love to know why or how it keeps being constructed and then deconstructed. I wonder if they lay down a whole load of large rocks and boulders, and then simply drive some crusher vehicle over it several times to break the whole lot up?
The pump keeps chugging away, reasonably quietly, and water levels have dropped considerably. No doubts attention will be turned to Cormorant lake in the near future.
Slide show to appear as and when.