As anticipated by yours truly, Inert have moved back to infilling Cormorant lake. After a near drought of inactivity, it is like a dam has burst, resulting in frenetic activity on Manor Farm and Chandlers farm.
Dry weather and increasing temperatures from last week, continued to provide blistering temperatures of around 30 C over the weekend and the first half of this week. Ground conditions were firm to rock hard over large swathes of Finch pond (as was) and now the Cormorant lake infill. That's not to say there wasn't the odd boggy bit. I encountered some patches in the middle of the land mass, alongside the centre land bridge.
What have Inert and co been up to? Firstly, before we launch into that, I have to assume that Inert have not been infilling until this week. However, I might have been unlucky in that the days I have attended the area, Inert have been working on the mighty pump station mound.
However, assuming that Inert have returned to infilling this week, then they have done a stunning amount.
Prior to cessation of work due to bad weather, Inert had tried to infill around the edge of Cormorant lake (north), forming a sort of raised beach. They hadn't managed to make it all around the lake, leaving a gap on its north shore. This week, they have filled in the gap. A nice, wide and very firm raised 'beach' goes all the way around Cormorant lake (north), apart from a small gap in its south east corner to accommodate a drainage ditch. Water levels are still pretty high.
There was a small ridge of spoil, and a couple of mounds of spoil, dropped from lorries, along the north east edge of the infill of Cormorant lake (north). This has been bulldozed into the lake, along, I think, with more spoil. As of Friday evening, there were three mounds of spoil, dropped by lorries. I would hope (weather permitting - the Met Office has threatened heavy rain this weekend - but thus far, Saturday afternoon, not much has fallen) that the spoil heaps will be pushed into Cormorant lake (south), along with more stuff.
My mid-week stomp occurred on Thursday. Inert were working to the west of the ridge, up against the gap between it and the north embankment. I think they last worked around here last year, but it is possible it was as far back as 2019!
I remember the infill of Finch pond was about a metre higher than the infill around the west side of the ridge. Inert and Co were here on Thursday to level the area out. I reckon at least 10 lorries were trundling about the site. Though at the start of my walk, most were in a seven lorry traffic jam, with five waiting on the west land bridge. Only one lorry at a time was allowed to dump their load, along side the ridge. Despite there being tons of space, and the ground being very firm to rock hard.
I spotted what I assume was boss man, driving around the site in his silver truck. It might be coincidence, but the lorry jam disappeared and more than one lorry was dumping their load, when boss man drove over to the ridge. On the other hand, a sufficient area had been levelled off to allow multiple lorries to dump their loads. And that is what I was seeing as I ended my walk.
Surprisingly, lorries were dumping their loads along the southern vehicle track, just to the east of my mighty mound. There didn't seem to be much in the way of stuff dumped, when I visited the site on Friday evening. Perhaps five lorry loads. It must be said, that the bulldozer driver was trundling from the north embankment down to where this stuff was being dumped. Perhaps he had bulldozed a lot of it flat. Who knows. I couldn't see on Thursday. The vegetation is now very tall, and I stick to the footpath.
A boulder sorter outer was sorting away on Chandlers farm. I haven't really heard it running over the past few weeks. Probably too wet.
I think the pump was going. Hard to tell with all the noise. One of the out flow streams appeared to be flowing, but it might have been run off due to the deluges we've been having.
It is the day before the second Freedom day. Still time for bumbling Boris and the scaremonger experts to derail it, due the minority who refuse to have the Covid-19 vaccine. Surprisingly, the weather might be a saviour - Scorchio! After a relatively wet and manky earlier summer, temperatures are set to hit 31C today, and continue above 24C for the week, if not longer.
This will dry out the soil, and hopefully allow Inert to complete the infill of Cormorant lake (south). For the time being, Inert and co, continue to add to the mighty mound of spoil around the pump station; this week, extending it further west.
I wonder how much Inert and lorry drivers have been hit by the Pingdemic.
The pump did not appear to be working, on Thursday, resulting in relatively high water levels in Cormorant lakes north and south. Not sure if this will stop Inert continuing the infill.
Not so much rain this week, but still sufficient to create large puddles and keep the ground soft. However, matters were beginning to improve towards the end of the week, with firmer, drier ground.
I visited on Wednesday to find Inert working away on the pump station mighty mound, very close to the bailey bridge. Lorries need only cross the bridge, turn left immediately and the reverse a few metres to drop their load. They do not, as of the previous few weeks, have to drive down to the pump station. However, even this quick, short manoeuvre caused a lorry queue on Chandlers farm.
I reckon at least four lorries were on site, probably more.
Oh, the pump didn't appear to be working, and water levels in Cormorant lake were very high.
Will Inert return to infilling Cormorant lake (south) this coming week? I refuse to second guess.
Headline says it all, really. I visited on Thursday morning. It is possible Inert worked on Manor farm earlier in the week. If so, it was only around the pump station.
There was a fair amount of activity on Chandlers farm - concentrated on the enormous spoil heaps Inert have constructed there. A digger was feeding a boulder sorter outer, both perched high up on a spoil heap. I could hear, but not see, the bulldozer.
Unfortunately, it is raining today; just as the ground was beginning to dry out. I'm not too sure how much work will take place on Manor farm next week, due to the soft conditions caused by this unusual rainfall.
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