36 hours of near torrential rain, last week, with a few more wet days thrown in for good measure, has resulted in Cormorant lake (north) filling up and the going on the land mass soft to boggy.
The south vehicle track is, once again, littered with deep puddles, accompanied by gooey, sticky mud. Not fun for lorries to drive down. Even less fun is the land mass vehicle track which, despite being chalk, compacted down really hard two weeks ago, is now so soft it is being churned up by lorries. They are gouging out deep, long troughs.
Inert had made a flying start on filling in Cormorant lake (north), this time on its east side. They had filled in the drainage ditch, exiting Cormorant lake (north) to create a land bridge. All was going swimmingly well until the deluge. With no means of exiting, water soon filled up Cormorant lake (north). Inert suspended its infill, and dug out the carefully constructed land bridge to form a drainage ditch. Sigh.
They did, at some point, build some spoil heaps, along the north east side of the infill of Cormorant lake (south), that resembled long barrows.
With rain stopping play on the infill, Inert resorted to plan B and continued adding stuff to the pump station spoil heap. Both bulldozer and digger were working on it on Wednesday, along with the now, familiar, lorry jam, as they queued to get across the bailey bridge.
Strangely, the pump was not working. It has rather a lot to drain.
Mid-week site visit only; Wednesday - bright and sunny. Rain started on Thursday. Medium heavy, with odd pluses of heavy rain, but persistent all through the day, continuing into Friday - when the deluge began, and continued and continued. I would say, almost 36 hours of continuous rain.
I decided against a weekend visit. Partly due to the sodden condition of the ground (freshly bulldozed earth is lethal stuff), and partly as there did not seem to be a huge number of lorries around on Wednesday. The position of the bulldozer and where spoil was being dropped on the north shore of Cormorant lake (south), suggest that Inert are working their way southward, filling in what is left of said lake.
I'm somewhat perplexed as to why they are not doing the opposite i.e. working northward, from the south shore of Cormorant lake (south). Lorries do not have this long, semi-circular route, over the land mass to get to the north shore of the lake. They simply dump it on the south shore, needing only to cover a fraction of the distance. Very odd.
Anyway, I also decided to leave it a couple of weeks to enable Inert to make real progress, which results in more dramatic 'then-and-now' photos.
I'm bulking out the slide show with some photos of wildlife I saw on the site on Wednesday. Although the birds came reasonably close, they didn't come that close, and some heavy cropping was required to bring them to the fore.
I haven't stepped foot on site for four weeks, and two weeks since Inert switched back to the infill of Cormorant lake. I held off for the past two weeks as I felt that progress was slow, there being few lorries around when I did my mid week jaunts. However, I have said that the 20-30 minutes I spend walking around the edge of Manor farm mid week is not a true representation on the rate of infill or of the number of lorries transporting stuff per day.
Well, it looks as if Inert and contracted lorry drivers have been working hard. Much progress has been made with the infill of the north shore of Cormorant lake (south). The mud flats, along the north shore of Cormorant lake (south), have almost completely been covered over. Only a thin sliver for drainage of Cormorant lake (north) separates the land mass and the northern part of manor farm.
The infill extends eastward to stop, currently, some 10 or 15metres shy of the east shore mud flats. I guess (ho, ho, famous last words) that Inert will extend the infill a little more east, before turning their attention south to fill in the remaining, small piece of Cormorant lake (south).
What I am curious to know is if the current height of the infill is the final or finish height. It is considerably higher than the mud flats. Does this mean that infill (or upfill in this instance) will continue on to the mud flats along the east shore of Cormorant lake (south). This area is currently home to a lot of breeding species, and is an established habitat. Shame to ruin it.
Then, I guess, Inert will turn their attention to landscaping the area, in particular carving out the new, elongated Manor lake, and flattening all the embankments.
Inert have built a new vehicle track, allowing lorries to traverse the land mass to reach its north east corner, where the latest infill takes place. Previously, they had to still use the limestone bridge, heading north west before taking a sharp right to head east. There is, at last, a load of room for the lorry drivers to reverse, and to allow two way traffic. Finally!!!
The latest infill on the map below is a pure guess. Partly as the map from google earth is quite old, and partly as I am not a map maker so don't have a very good handle on my bearings. Plus, Inert have worked on the east shore of Cormorant lake (south) and may have changed the profile from that shown in this Google earth image.
Any thoughts that Inert had abandoned infill round the land mass, have been proven incorrect; for the time being. The bulldozer was back on the north east shore of the land mass, pushing spoil into Cormorant lake (south).
There didn't seem to be many lorries about, when I visited on Wednesday morning. A couple of John Stacy tripped lorries and an unidentified grab loader. I figured I'd let Inert work on the infill for another week, before making a site visit to see how far they have got. It's looking promising for a completion this year.
Now it is possible that had been more lorries contracted to work during the week, and I happened to pick a quiet time to pay a visit. Plus, I only get a tiny snapshot of what Inert are up to, seeing as I spend about 20 minutes, one day a week on site.
Oh, the digger was working industriously away on the spoil heap next to the pump station. I wasn't around long enough to see if lorries were dropping loads for it.
There were some Lapwings nesting on what was Finch pond. I think some of the eggs hatched. An MGLG member said he thought he had seen one. Last week I spied a Lapwing that was considerably smaller than another pair on the site. What was stranger, was that the two larger birds kept close company with the smaller bird.
I am wondering if the smaller bird was a hatchling that had fledged and was ready to fly. Five to six weeks is how long it takes, from hatching. This would kind of fit in with an early hatching. In any case, there was no sign of any Lapwings, this week. I hope the hatchlings made it. There are quite a few foxes, badger and mink around. Not to mention the Carrion crows, Jackdaws, Kestrel, Buzzards, etc. Also, sadly, a section of fencing has collapsed, allowing dogs easy access to what was Finch pond. The footpath is popular with dog walkers, and so few of them have any control whatsoever of their dogs.
A polite notice first: All photographs on this blog are owned by me and subject to copyright.