Crescent bank: great place for 340 degree viewing screens and hide. Reed planting and further sculpting. 15th August 2023
I should really get down to Manor farm restoration everyday, such is the pace of activity. Since my very early morning Saturday visit, Inert and/or contractors have:
Planted reeds around shore of Manor lake extension's channel (deeper, wider bit). I can't tell if the reeds are truly planted or simply plonked on top of the banks and then given a thin covering of soil. Problem is, we are entering a warm period, with temperatures expected to exceed 25 C, possibly hitting 30 C, for two weeks or more. These reeds may die if either water levels are not increased or they are watered almost every day.
That's the biggest problem I've seen with restoration, lack of post planting care; particularly of saplings. Fleet Hill farm saw 30%-50% of saplings die in the first year they were planted - mainly because there was a heat wave a week or two after they were planted. Nobody went around with a water bowser to water the saplings.
A digger operator was busy at work around the east sluice gate hole. He appeared to be digging a channel or at least extending the one on Manor lake towards the extension. I did say Inert would have to dig out a whole load of ground to create the necessary deeper bits. There was a huge pile of spoil piled up against the northeast edge of Crescent bank.
Talking of Crescent bank. I reckon it would make a fabulous site for 340 degree viewing screens and possibly a hide. Access would be via the Bailey bridge and Blackwater footpath. The 20 degrees of non-viewable area simply points back to the Bailey bridge.
I've often talked about how one gets a totally different perspective on a reserve by being about 15 feet high. I got superb views when I stomped along the north embankment - before it was demolished. The east part of the north embankment was the best, as it was about 30 feet high.
Anyway, Inert have smoothed the west side of Crescent bank or mound. This indicates that this odd feature will remain. Apart from being a great place for an almost all round viewing screen, I can't fathom what else it is for.
I have a feeling that Inert have also been fiddling with the channel, certainly near the western sluice gate hole. It looks a bit more worked, since Saturday.
One place I could really discern was the last remaining fragment of Cormorant lake (south) where the pump pipe pontoon used to reside. The area looks as if it has been smoothed down, without wholesale infilling. I also think the rough area on the southeast corner of Manor lake extension has also been smoothed down.
A maxi digger was at work alongside the south footpath, about 50 yards west of the Bailey bridge. It appeared to have dug up several large concrete blocks, and appeared to be working its way eastward to along the established wooded and reed area next to the Bailey bridge. I do hope this area is not razed.
Finally, an orange digger was at work on Chandlers farm. It appeared to be digging up the pipes from the pump station leading to the settlement ponds.
A polite notice first: All photographs on this blog are owned by me and subject to copyright.