Finch pond, once mighty and huge, has all but disappeared. Inert have continued their onslaught, pushig the shores of this pond ever closer together. They have formed a mini 'spit' of land that gets within ten feet (3m) or so of the south shore of Finch pond next to the copse.
The west shore of Finch pond has undergone extensive remodelling, being filled in all the way to the former 'causeway'. Maybe the 'causeway' was built as a marker, a survey point for Inert to know where to fill in to. Who knows.
I noticed a survey stake which was marked with the finish level of the 'river' - presumably the reinstated course of the Colebrook.
What I can say is that Finch pond is now really tiny; almost the size of a couple of large village ponds.
I am also wondering if the grading of the south shore, sloping gently to Finch pond, is now a shallow area for reed beds. Once pumping stops and water levels rise (can't really call this area a lake any more) then the south shore of Finch pond will be under a couple or so feet of water - given that yet more soil isn't brought in.
The north shore has had some slopes bulldozed into it. I am unsure as to whether these are simply tracks for the lorries to negotiate or will be the reed bed area of this part of Manor farm.
Indications are the pump was not pumping on Wednesday. I didn't wander to the pump on Saturday to see if it was chugging away. Water levels are very low now, but can rise very quickly. The reasons why the lakes have to be pumped dry for restoration work is amply demonstrated by the formation of the new 'spit' near the copse and the remodelling of the west shore of Finch pond. You can't do this if the water level is some six to eight feet (1.8m to 2.4m) above where the bulldozer will be trundling.
The boulder sorter outer has gone. Whether it will be replaced is only known to Inert. I suspect not as work will have to shift to Cormorant lake to have any chance of completing restoration before the breeding season resumes next March. Though with the work on Finch pond complete, breeding birds can switch to it, leaving Cormorant lakes north and south free for restoration work.
I noticed, on Wednesday, some contractors working near the footbridge on Fleet Hill farm. I didn't investigate. I did pop round on Saturday. It was hard to discern what, if anything, they were doing. I did notice a number of the tree saplings (complete with plastic tubes) had been pushed over. I doubt it was due to vandals as the number knocked over was tiny. It is possible that Roe deer knocked them over or that the contractors were determining which saplings had not survived the drought.
I am not sure how many of the saplings made it through the drought. Those planted nearer the various ponds and lakes appear to have done well. The others appear, at this early stage, to have taken quite a hit.
Roll on next year to find out.
One patch of reeds, that was planted earlier in the year, appear to be thriving. The patch I inspected was on the east shore of the pond I christened 'Stone crusher lake'. I may take a walk along the rest of Fleet Hill farm at some stage to see how the rest of the reeds have done.
I've updated my diagram of my estimation on how much progress has taken place. It has, I'm afraid, got a little messy. As usual, it is highly approximate.
The purple represents basic infill that has occurred over the past year.
The orange represents my best guess as to the infill which has reached its finish level.
The yellow is the infill and modelling that occurred over the past couple of weeks; particularly a big push into Finch pond.
I've attempted to give an indication of the slope direction on the south shore of Finch pond. Any slope is highly gentle, most of it is just a shallow basin.
The survey stake on the mound of soil in this next photo defines the finish level for the 'BL river' - essentially the Colebrook. I have no idea why it is labelled BL river. The lines, which I have drawn in, gives you an idea of the final finish level for the area, and of the ramps that Inert have formed during the past week. I have no idea if these 'ramps' will remain or if they will be filled in to the finish level.
Finally, on with the slide show.
A polite notice first: All photographs on this blog are owned by me and subject to copyright.