Inert have been busy. Land bridge back. Infill progressing north. Spoil heaps growing. 17th January 2021
Salutations on this first blog of 2021. Hope is in the air. Biden will be president in three days time, despite the attempted coup on the 6th Jan. Covid-19 vaccine rollout going slowly, due to PHE's unambitious plan, but picking up. Lockdown bowling along until end of February. Inert working steadily on Manor farm.
I paid a site visit, early on Friday morning. A digger was working far on the north shore of Cormorant lake (south), and appeared to be pushing stuff into the lake. At times the digger was hidden behind huge piles of spoil.
Our bulldozer driver was pootling along the south vehicle track, pushing watery mud around. I spotted two lorries, good old John Stacy vehicles, making their way gingerly along the south vehicle track.
This week, the bulldozer driver told them not to reverse 75 to 100m up the land mass, but instead to drop their loads at the south end of the land mass track. The bulldozer driver then pushed the spoil some 75 to 100m northward on to the land mass. Very sensible, considering the amount of rain we are still getting, though not as bad as before Christmas.
I paid a visit to Manor farm, early Sunday morning. I eschewed a Saturday visit as we had snow and yet more rain on Saturday morning.
Having seen the wave of mud being pushed by the dozer blade on Wednesday, and the amount of standing water on the site, I decided to not walk along the south vehicle path or go on the land mass - with its quagmires. Instead I decided to walk straight to the ridge and gravel spit to see what the digger had been up to.
Was I in for a surprise. Firstly, the pump has been running, which means water levels were low. I did notice this on Friday, and could hear the pump wheezing away. However, I don't think it was running on Sunday.
Secondly, I realised that Inert have been working on Cormorant lake (north). At some point in the last two months (actually, probably this year), a digger has cut drainage channel into the infill of Cormorant lake (north). It runs along the lake's western edge, and joins up with the drainage channel between Finch pond and Cormorant lake (south). The upshot of this channel is that I could not get to the gravel spit.
Thirdly, the land bridge is back. Which is how, I reckon, a digger got to Cormorant lake (north). With the land bridge in place it does mean water can't drain into Cormorant lake (south), well, not unless Inert have put a big pipe under the land bridge's soil.
Thwarted in my attempts to get to the gravel spit, I chose to walk along the central north embankment (noting loads of animal paths through the bracken - normally fox, deer, rabbit and badger), and then to the end of the east ridge. I even ventured onto one of the mud flats (very carefully and gingerly) and was moderately surprised to discover the ground was relatively firm.
It was difficult to see what the digger had been up to. It was using its shovel to push/smooth spoil, from what I could see on Friday. The north shoreline has been flattened. Before Christmas the shore was basically a cliff, a vertical bank some 8m high.
Now, I did notice that a bit of the land mass was now in contact with the gravel spit, but I seem to remember this was the situation last year.
It is nice to see that Inert are continuing restoration during lockdown. It's pretty safe for the plant operators. They sit in their air conditioned cabs, isolated from each other, and can either communicate via radio or by shouting to each other across several metres of fresh air. Long may this continue.
A polite notice first: All photographs on this blog are owned by me and subject to copyright.