I think the last time I stomped around the west side of Manor farm was about the beginning of December 2018. Partly as restoration had shifted to Cormorant lake (south) and partly because of the breeding season from April this year.
Well, I decided to revisit Manor farm west to show how quickly the area greens up, without any human intervention.
Was I in for a nasty surprise. The abundant rainfall and reasonable temperatures has caused nettles, brambles and thistles to grow to crazy heights. I would normally clamber up the west embankment at the Longwater road entrance, then stroll along said embankment taking photos. Not today, I didn't.
Yes I fought my way up, though brambles 15' (5m) long, and nettles and thistles over 2m high. I managed some photos from the south end of the west embankment, but made my way down gingerly. For why? From what I could see, I would have to fight my way through dense thistles, nettles and brambles, taller than me, all the way to the north embankment.
I chose to walk along the former shore of Finch pond, which had nothing more nasty than daisies and Oxford ragwort.
However, I did have to fight my way through nettles and thistles over 2m tall along half the north embankment. It took me some 8 to 10 minutes to battle my way some 50m through this stuff. I'd normally stroll that distance in about 40 seconds. Thankfully I had elected to wear my wellies and a heavy duty fleece. Unfortunately, I was wearing summer weight walking trousers. Thistles had no trouble getting through these, while the odd old nettles managed also to get through the thin material.
Luckily, from about halfway east along the north embankment the thistles dissipated, the nettles only came knee or chest high, and from about three quarters of the way east, I had nice grass. The ridge was covered in nettles, over 2m high in places, but no where near as thick or dense as on the west side of the north embankment.
I pity any surveyor who has to make their way along the north embankment to check on restoration progress.
Now, it may take a bit of time to update this posting, as I have many before greening and after greening photos to post. The before greening photos mostly come from 10th November 2018.
Perversely, I have put the after image before the before image. Sorry about that, but it was the after images I started with, and so have to try and find the before images. Just use your imagination.
Firstly, some photos of the nasty stuff I had to fight my way through. The camera was held at head height.