I spotted yer actual lorries on my Wednesday stomp. At least four of the beasts, which have been rare or missing these last few weeks. To qualify my remarks, I do reckon there have been lorries on site, it's just I didn't seem them during my short, 25 minute mid week stomp.
Four or five lorries is about right, given the ground conditions and the fact the lorries have to reverse some 75 or 100 metres up a vehicle way on the land mass. Basically it worked like this.
While one lorry reverse up the land mass on a vehicle track, another is trundling over from Chandlers farm. When this second lorry reaches the vehicle way it positions itself to reverse. In the mean time, the first lorry is beginning to dump its load.
The second lorry only has to wait a minute or so for the first lorry to complete its dump (as it were) and drive down the vehicle way, before it can reverse up the vehicle way.
Elsewhere, lorry number three is making its way over to Chandlers farm, while a fourth lorry is being loaded with spoil. There might have been a fifth lorry, but I feel there were only four.
These four lorries keep things ticking along nicely, dropping loads for the bulldozer driver, and this time with out the 8 to 10 lorry jams I used to see last autumn; as lorries queued to get over the bailey bridge.
As to why the lorries were reversing this long way. Walking on areas off the vehicle way, on Saturday, revealed firm but soft ground. Not particularly good for heavily laden lorries to trundle over - especially when reversing. It's all this rain we've been having. I think it was the wettest October ever, and November (normally a dry month) doesn't seem to be letting up on the wet stuff falling from the sky.
Dawn on Saturday was wet and dark, with low heavy cloud. I delayed my trip until 7:30, partly to see if the rain would get worse and partly to give Inert time to get on site. However, Inert were not working this Saturday, meaning not only could I get on site, I could also wander round and make my way up to the ridge.
Well, dear reader, having bemoaned the glacial pace Inert appeared to be working to these past few weeks, it appears that either I did not read the situation properly or that in the past couple of weeks restoration pace has picked up.
A lot of spoil has been shipped onto the land mass - reversing 100yds not withstanding. Even more spoil has been bulldozed into Cormorant lake (south). This much was evident even from my exile on the South footpath. However, what was hidden from me, mainly as I could not get on site, was how far north the infill has proceeded.
In places the northern edge of the land mass has almost meets the gravel causeway and mud flats on the northern shores of Cormorant lake (south). I was so surprised when I saw this. Progress really has picked up, I feel. Shame there is so much rain forecast, which will make the ground too soft for lorries to safely drive along.
Actually, speaking of this, when I hopped over the gate at the Longwater road entrance, I notice some deep vehicle tracks - possibly the heavy earth mover. Then, when I had to take a long detour from the land mass, round the copse and Finch pond, then across the Finch pond infill, I noticed that the heavy plant had been trundling across this area.
When I headed back to the Longwater road entrance, from my visit to the ridge, I saw more of the vehicle tracks further north on the Finch pond infill. I wonder if someone was testing out the ground conditions in this part of the site, with a view of allowing lorries safe access to Cormorant lake (north)?
Inert actually used this route about three years ago, when they fill in Finch pond. Lorries would drive along the south vehicle track, turn north near the sewage works, then head east when they reached the north embankment, finally turning south to make their way around the ridge i.e. almost a full circle around the Finch pond part of the site. It seemed to work.
Oh, the pump was chugging away. It is needed, due to the almost continuous deluge we've been having.
Sad to say, two and a half weeks of lockdown left. A lockdown imposed with dodgy data, dodgy science, and people with a vested interest. Valance and Whitty commented on this, and apologised for using correct data. An example being that the regional tiers were working. The R rate was going down. Valance admitted they did not take the latest data, for the last two weeks of the tiers, into account when pushing for lockdown!
A polite notice first: All photographs on this blog are owned by me and subject to copyright.