I dragged myself down to Manor farm, yesterday morning. When I started my car in our drive way, a temperature of -6C was showing on my car's thermometer. It soon dropped to -4C then -3C as I parked my car next to the north entrance to Fleet Hill farm on the Longwater road. The sun was just peeking above the tree line, offering some nice atmospheric shots.
Weather wise, it has been brutally cold for the past couple of weeks. This week in particular saw daytime temperatures rarely get to 0C. Night time temperatures dropped to -9C or lower. I reckon lower, as -9C was recorded in a relatively built up area of Finchampstead north. Manor farm, being an open expanse of land, exposed to winds and with no heat island affect of housing, would be far colder than Finchampstead north.
All this coldness resulted in ground that was frozen rock hard. Which in turn meant it was a joy to walk on. No danger of sinking into the stuff or of wading through wellington deep mud. It also meant my toes freezing.
OK, enough weather reports. With no midweek site visit to see what Inert worked on, I can only assume they continued the infill of Manor lake, despite the freezing weather. Not a problem for the plant operators, in their heated cab. Although soil was frozen, I doubt the freeze penetrated too deeply, meaning it would be a viable option for diggers to load lorries for stuff to be bulldozer into Manor lake with no problems. In fact, conditions would be much easier due to frozen ground supporting lorries better.
Inert have made a fair amount of progress since my last site visit a couple of weeks ago. I feel they have extended their infill by about a third. The northern edge of infill is quite close to some banking on the south side of the main reed beds. The western edge of infill is wrapping around the north side of the peninsular.
The depth of infill is quiet considerable, about 10 to 12 feet in my estimation, and there is an awful lot of lake left to fill in. This will take some time, folks.
Very, very wet weather is predicted for today and tomorrow (BBC have said 2 1/2 days of rain!!!), with a fairly moist Christmas and New Year to follow. Rainwater will run off the frozen ground, which should cause Manor lake to fill up very quickly. I wouldn't be surprised if the Blackwater were to burst its banks. Therefore, ground conditions on Manor farm will become muddy and slippery.
A smorgasbord of photos in the slideshow, as I clicked at whatever took my interest.
But first, a feeble attempt to detail how much infill Inert have accomplished to date.
A polite notice first: All photographs on this blog are owned by me and subject to copyright.