I really feel, dear reader, that Cemex are going all out to finish the restoration of Manor farm. There is no sign of them abating their pace, and they still have plenty to do. I must admit to not knowing what the final plan is for this part of the reserve. I've seen at least three different sets of diagrams, all different. Time will tell, as the adage goes.
A MGLG member, whose house overlooks the site, agreed with me on the frenzy of activity that has taken place over the past week. For months he has seen the odd lorry or two pottering around the site, with the bulldozer and occasional digger. Now it as like the flood gates had been opened.
I visited the site on Thursday 26th April, at roughly 13:15. Our stalwart bulldozer was now working at the Longwater road entrance, shoving earth and the western shore of Finch pond ever eastwards.
Space was, initially, quite tight around this area. Lorries would trundle around Finch pond then drive into the Longwater road entrance as far as the gate, before reversing towards Finch pond. It was very skilful driving, especially as there were lorries coming from all directions.
Every now and again the bulldozer driver would get out of his cab to direct traffic, guiding lorries to the shore of Finch pond. There was not a lot of space between the lorries.
I felt there were possibly fewer lorries around on Thursday, compared to Tuesday, but not by much. I think a couple of the locals, e.g. Collard, were not around. I counted a minimum of ten lorries, but it is difficult to estimate as they keep moving!
Two diggers were at work around the site of the Yellow bridge. Unlike Tuesday, both were concerned with feeding the boulder sorter outer. I felt it was rather curious. One digger would be digging out the bed of the road that wound up to the Yellow bridge, loading the rubble into the huge dumper truck. When full, the digger driver would beep his horn, and thenthe dumper truck would drive the 20 or 30 metres to the boulder sorter outer, then go round it, before reversing to dump its load.
A second digger would then feed the soil into the boulder sorter outer, whilst the huge dumper truck went back for another load. I couldn't see why the boulder sorter outer wasn't moved closer to the old road, so the rubble could be fed directly into it.
I realised, whilst watching it, that the boulder sorter outer produces three grades of sorted 'stuff'. Fine: basically soil. Medium: looks like gravel upto about 50mm in diameter. Coarse: Anything bigger than the previous two.
The amount of dust the lorries kicked up was a sight, even though they had to drive quite slowly. The track way was exceedingly bumpy. All the rain on Friday would have dampened down the soil, so relieving the drivers of the dust.
I popped back to the site on Saturday morning, and encountered the usual bleak, moist weather, with overcast conditions. I managed to avoid the worst of the rain, which only started toward the end of my trek. Unfortunately my nemesis - mud - made its reappearance. Thick, horrible stuff.
The change, particularly around the Longwater road entrance, was astonishing. Large vistas of flat land, extending into what was Finch pond. Water levels were at the lowest I have ever seen them, but actually higher than when the quarry was still extracting.
Unfortunately, the water levels were still not low enough for me to cross the channel between Finch pond and Cormorant lake. I was forced to take a long detour. As usual I kept off the gravel spit (between Cormorant lake north and south), and kept clear of the mud flats just in case there were any birds brave enough to nest there with all the noise, machinery and humans around them.
I am not sure what Cemex are doing with the north end of Cormorant spit. They have dumped a huge pile of sand and gravel there. It would be nice if it were turned into a scape. The birds desperately need one. However, I am not sure what the plan is for Cormorant lake. An early one shows it merging with Manor lake to the east, with its north part being turned into reed beds. The plans have changed, but to what, I do not know.
Wildlife was sparse, today. The Shelduck were absent. Perhaps they have decided to use the lovely nest which the Moor Green Lakes Group built for them on Plover island. As usual, the armadas of Tufted ducks were bobbing around, but not as many I felt. Even the Roe deer put up a poor showing. Only three of them.
Two slide shows today. The first is from my visit on Thursday. The second,with all the murky photos, from my visit today.
Now on to Saturday's photos. I did edit some to brighten them up, as it was so dark this morning.
I will add that the pump was rattling a little this morning. It sounded like the fan. Poor thing has been pumping continuously for months now. It's getting tired and needs a rest.
It is getting more difficult to walk along the north embankment and ridge. The nettles are now over knee high. I got soaked through this morning with all the rain drops on them. In a month or so I reckon they will reach chest height or higher. I once walked through stuff that high, whilst hunting for sink holes around White Hart, Hertfordshire.
Comments will be added later on this evening or tomorrow.
A polite notice first: All photographs on this blog are owned by me and subject to copyright.