Well, here's a turn up for the books. I had a long, and interesting chat, with an Inert representative, who came to see what I was up to yesterday evening, as I wandered around Manor farm. He thought I was perhaps a contractor, who hadn't exited in a vehicle, prior to him locking the gates over the bailey bridge.
As we know, plans for Manor farm have been fluid for the past 30 odd years. Originally, Cormorant lake (north) was supposed to be filled in. A late change in plans calls for this lake (well, large pond, really) to be retained. It's quite a nice shaped pond, if a little small and shallow.
One mystery that has been solved, is that of the 'drainage ditch' to nowhere - which I mentioned last week. This ditch is set to be connected, at some point, to Cormorant lake (north) to allow it to drain. In turn, the east side of Cormorant lake (north) will be connected by a stream to Colebrook lake on Moor Green Lakes nature reserve. The connection point is under the footpath bridge near Colebrook hide. Thus the lakes on MGL can drain through Manor farm, and thence to Fleet Hill farm; via the culvert under Longwater road.
The aim is to 'flatten' the site, asap. I assume this means the embankments, plus to being some areas up to finish level. Thus, Inert have now brought the ground around northern and eastern parts of the copse up to the intended finish level - though there may be a cap of top soil. Much needs to be done to the western side of the copse, and possible what was Finch pond.
Interestingly, the plans for the western half of Manor farm may have changed yet again. The 'latest' plans I saw on Hampshire county council's planning site, calls for a long thin lake, approximately where the current ponds are.
I'm also not sure what is going to happen to the southern area between the copse and the pump station. One plan calls for a long lake connected to Manor lake. An alleged newer plan has this area turned into a wetland area, with small ponds - though it is hard to tell from the plans on the planning application site. These same plans allege that both Manor lakes are wetland areas with small ponds, when they are actually quite large lakes. However, what I have interpreted from the plans as being lakes are, in actual fact, deep areas of a wider wetland. Thus, the current Manor lakes are shown as 'wetlands', yet are quite large lakes, which may be shallow.
If this is the case, then the new, long Manor lake, will be truly spectacular, running from MGL to the copse, quite close to the southern (akak Blackwater river) footpath and with a hide/viewing area extending into the middle of it. However, the bank between Manor lake (south) should have been removed by now. Currently, the area is occupied by the pump and a rather large heap of spoil.
There is a question mark over whether a car park will be built next to the Longwater road entrance. One plan says yes, one plan says no, another plan says may be. Shame if it doesn't get built. People will either bombard the small MGLG car park or simply park on the Longwater road clogging it up.
Another possible solved mystery is that of why Inert sometimes cease infill. They can't get suitable spoil. Which kind of makes sense, as there are only so many building sites; especially during lockdown.
Finally, I had a look at the Hampshire County Council planning application pages, and found some documents which describe the latest timescales for the completion of restoration. Unsurprisingly, Inert are running behind - partly due to lockdowns and unusual rainfall- we are in a La Nina year. The main points are that a lot of the infill and basic restoration of Manor farm takes place by the end of this year, particularly the embankments being flattened by autumn. Areas will then be shaped and landscaped, with reed/tree planting taking place spring/summer of next year.
Chandlers farm is scheduled to be completed by 2023.
I've placed the timescales plans after the slide show. Both are the same, except one was rendered in Microsoft Edge and came out almost illegible. I have put the diagrams text into readable boxes. The other was rendered in Firefox and came out better - though still a little hard to read, as I have made it small to reduce download times.
A polite notice first: All photographs on this blog are owned by me and subject to copyright.