On a more somber note: Plastics in the environment has made the news. The reserve has not escaped this scourge. I do notice a lot of plastic in the ground as I walk around the reserve. Most of it is being bulldozed into the ground, along with a lot of other industrial rubbish. I'm not sure of the long lasting environmental impact, and how much will be leached into the soil. I have a photo of small beads of polystyrene floating on Finch pond near the Longwater road entrance.
Inert have brought in a digger to help with the restoration. A natty blue thing. Poor thing couldn't cope with the mud, and 'threw' a track. Actually, there is probably a real reason why the track was taken off, but I like the mud theory. It's difficult to work out what it did this last week.
Our stalwart bulldozer has be hard at work pushing soil into the south shore of Finch pond, steadily extending the land northward by a couple or so metres. It has also been hard at work around the site of the former pump station bridge. There have been some quite dramatic changes here.
I wanted to take photos of the reserve from the north embankment to show how much water levels have risen. I was waiting for a sunny morning to enable dramatic photos like the last time I did this walk. With the pump started, I figured I had better take my chance now and photograph the lakes before levels fell, even though it was really really dark and miserable this morning. Both cameras struggled - particularly the DSLR with it's zoom lens. The bridge camera faired better. Much as I have maligned my Panasonic DMC-FZ72 bridge camera, it does do a sterling job; even with its below par photos. I might have a look at a Canon superzoom bridge camera, as they seem to produce better photos.
As it was I didn't have to do the north embankment walk today (even though I did) as the pump was gone. I have no idea if it needed repairs or is to be replaced or is not needed or was stolen. Though why anyone would nick a knackered old pump is beyond me.
I took a chance on the weather and put my trail camera back out. Water levels in the Blackwater had lowered considerably, though they were still up. I was able to step easiliy onto the fallen tree trunk; no leaping 5' (1.5m) over 3' (90cm) deep water. Heavy rain is forecast for Monday, with periods of drizzle thereafter, but I think water levels will not rise that much.
The slideshows are split into three sections today. The first covers the south footpath, pump station and yellow bridge. The second is mainly concerned with the work around the south shore of Finch pond. Finally, the Longwater road and north embankment.
Pump station and yellow bridge
The most dramatic change around this area has been the building of small banking along the shores of Cormorant lake and Manor lake. I can't say I really understand why. They are quite small, being about two feet (60cm) high and roughly a yard ( 100cm) wide, bordering very short sections of the lakes. They are quite tidy and neat.
The digger was lurking around the yellow bridge, looking quite downcast with its thrown track. I'm still not sure what it did on the site. Perhaps it built the banking around the pump station.
As stated earlier, Inert have been extending the land south of Finch pond by the simple dint of bulldozing soil ito it. With little rain this week the going was very much easier where the bulldozer had been working. Oddly, some areas were left alone. The mud in these areas were still the nasty, sink up to your knees variety.
Incidentally, the water levels on the west shore of Finch pond arn't that much lower than the Longwater road. I could be wrong (I'll check next week) but it looks only like a foot or two. The surface of the ponds do appear higher than the surface of the Blackwater. It is really hard to tell, as they are separated by several tens of metres at the narrowest point.
I had planned to do a circular route. Walk along the north embankment. Drop down to the channel between Cormorant lake and the lake north of it; the channel where I got my wet foot. Hop across the channel in my wellies, and walk back to Finch pond along the tongue of land separating Cormorant lake and that to the north of it; before climbing back up the north embankment and retracing my steps to the Longwater road entrance. This, dear reader, was not to be, as you will see in the slideshow.