Inert and assorted haulage lorries have made astonishing progress with infilling and restoring Finch pond this last couple of weeks. Before we delve into the changes, I must remind you, dear reader, that I have permission to be on this site. Even so I, like Inert, are keeping clear of certain areas so as not to disturb ground nesting birds.
You know how it is you sense something has changed in a scene but can't quite place your finger on it. This is how it was for me when I popped down to the site mid week. The area around the south shore of Finch pond and Longwater road was now largely flat. Inert had levelled most of it. As you will see from the photos, this was a bit of an illusion.
However, the area has been levelled considerably. The 'new stream bed' no longer exists. Neither does the small pond next to the Longwater road entrance. Both have been filled in. Until Inert cut a new channel, this does mean that Finch pond has no outflow. The large heaps of soil and gravel around the Longwater road entrance have been flattened.
Incidently, there are plans to create a car park around the Longwater road entrance. This should certainly ease pressure on the small Moor Green Lake car park, and make access to the new reserve easier as cars need no longer negotiate the single track Lower Sandhurst road.
I noticed that the pump has been switched back on again after a few weeks of inactivity.
By far the greatest change has been the progress Inert have made with infilling Finch pond - particularly along the north shore. A wide tongue of land now stretches eastward from the Longwater road to roughly three quarters of the way across Finch pond, parallel to the north embankment. I walked to the end of it on Saturday, something I would not have been able to do a couple of weeks back.
Strangely, Inert have left a little channel (i.e. gap) between this tongue of land and the north embankment.
I have been eschewing my normal jaunt along the north embankment recently as it has become quite unpleasant due to the mid chest high high nettles. However, Inert have scraped a rather nice path through the vegetation along the north embankment, starting west at the Longwater road and ending at the base of the ridge.
They did something similar last autumn, and I am not sure why. Possibly to give access to surveyors, possibly for a test dig, or possibly because the bulldozer got bored and wanted to do something different. Who knows, but it did afford me a chance to walk along the north embankment, partly to see what, if anything, Inert were doing around the ridge (nothing it transpires) and partly to photograph the infilling of Finch pond.
I believe the plan is to bulldoze most of the north embankment into Finch pond. There need to be some form of gradual slope as there is a plan to have a public right of way along this area. We shall see. It will be a shame if it was all totally flat, as a little bit of height gives a wonder and different perspective when viewing the wildlife on the reserve.
On to the slide show. Bit of a mishmash I'm afraid. Thursday was pretty manky, weather wise. It was grey, dreary, misty with occasional shows spitting at me. My DSLR struggled with the conditions. Saturday morning was equally dire. I eschewed my normal very early morning walk. Instead I popped down at 18:30, where the weather was gloriously warm, sunny if somewhat blustery.
A polite notice first: All photographs on this blog are owned by me and subject to copyright.