Wednesday was gloriously sunny, if a touch nippy. Two further days of perfect photography conditions and then Saturday rolled in: Dark, dank, heavy, low brooding clouds, with an annoying hazy mist. Hey ho, at least it wasn't cold. At 7.5 degrees centigrade, when I set off on my morning stomp, it was positively balmy and my fingers did freeze.
My Wednesday stomp started off with a mighty traffic jam of John Stacey tipper lorries waiting to drop their loads at the new infill site. It seemed to mark an up tick in activity. I counted at least three John Stacey tipper trucks and one Inert grab loader. I'm not sure how long this increase in lorry traffic will last.
The lorries still do not drive on to the infill. It was very squidgy last week. However, this week it seemed a lot firmer; certainly when I walked on it. Probably helped by not having an incessant deluge, on top of snow melt. The Blackwater was considerably lower, as a result.
The upshot of not being able to drive onto the infill, and the continuing muddiness of the site (trust me, there is still a lot of mud around the consistency of quicksand) means the lorries have to off load on their track. Consequently, the bulldozer driver has a long way to back up to the dropped loads, and a long return shunt to push soil into the lake.
I would expect the ground to firm up, over the coming days or weeks, sufficiently for lorries to drive on to the infill and get closer the shoreline. However, matters in the firming up department and safety department for plant are not helped by the intermittent pump. It was chugging away on Wednesday, but quite silent this morning. Water levels were lower than last week, but possibly a little too high for lorries to get too close to the shoreline.
What I found interesting were the deep bulldozer tracks, created this week. Some were over a foot (30cm) deep, with two foot banking in places. This might indicate how squidgy the area was whilst the bulldozer was pushing spoil into Cormorant lake.
I must say the infill resembled a lunar landscape or pictures I've seen of the Somme. There were deep gouges and heaps of spoil. I almost wonder if the bulldozer packed up, and infill continued with a digger. Normally, the bulldozer creates a fairly flat surface.
There is a possibility that the new south shoreline of Manor lake has started to be produced. You'll see in some of the photos a very distinct terrace has been cut quite close to the south footpath. Its position, as best I can tell, is approximately where I'd expect to see it; though it isn't as wobbly as I would have thought. Also, the whole area between the terrace edge and the old shoreline of Cormorant lake, which used to be vehicle tracks, has now been bulldozed. However, we have seen this before. Terraces are cut, and then filled; also areas are filled in and then scoured out. I surmise that the latter is what we are seeing here, infill being built up and then dug out to produce the final finish level.
Which brings me to a large pile of spoil dumped just west of the south end of the copse. Does this mean that Inert will once again switch what they are doing? Will they flit over to work on finishing Finch pond? Time will tell, as they say, but it did look as if Inert were cutting another crater. This feature was to one side of the spoil.
Water was flowing from Manor lake (south) into Cormorant lake near the pump station. I'm not sure if Inert had cut through the soil bridge the formed last week or if the water worked its way through naturally. I may take a look next week.
I could hear and see the usual plethora of activity on Chandlers farm on Wednesday. Surprisingly, I heard what appeared to be activity on Saturday. I didn't bother crossing the works bridge to have a look see; especially if there was plant moving around. I stuck to the vacant Manor farm part of the site.
I've reworked my progress map a little; adding some landmarks to aid you figure what I am describing. I also moved the inlet to the original drainage ditch that was dug last week. I had it too far to the north. Ironically, the inlet has been filled in. I might have been slightly enthusiastic about the extent of the eastern edge of the infill.
On to the slide show. Once again virtually all the photos taken on Saturday had to be processed in FastStone to brighten them up.
Wildlife was decidedly absent on both my stomps. I can't say this is particularly unusual for this time of year. Although there is a lot of activity going on, the wildfowl seem fairly tolerant when Finch pond was being filled in. In fact, they seemed to positively relish the new environments being created.
To give an idea of the wildlife you can expect to see, I now include some photos I took on my Wednesday stomp from Manor farm and Moor Green lakes. I post them here as I continue my battle with that heinous organisation, Facebook, who now demand you input a mobile phone number to verify yourself.
Not bloody likely, matey. Partly as I don't have a mobile phone, but mainly as if I could be bothered to get one FB is not getting its number so as to bombard me with adverts; despite what they say.
A polite notice first: All photographs on this blog are owned by me and subject to copyright.