I honestly thought Inert would be taking a breather from their infill of Cormorant lake (south), turning their attention to fiddling around the pump station. Once again, they did the opposite. They continued to work on the north shore of the land mass, with up to 10 tipper lorries trundling around, accompanied by the bulldozer and digger. On Wednesday morning, he latter was merrily demolishing the large spoil heaps that Inert had built up on the north shore of the land mass late last year.
In the three weeks since I last did a site visit, Inert have now filled in the last remaining bit of Cormorant lake (south) between the land mass and the gravel causeway which separated it from Cormorant lake (north). It is an incredibly eerie feeling being able to walk from the Blackwater footpath all the way to what remains of the gravel causeway, without having to negotiate ditches or any form of open water.
Not only have Inert closed this gap they have:
- Pushed the infill further east along the entire west shore of Cormorant lake (south).
- Covered much of the mud flats that used to exist on the north shore of Cormorant lake (north)
- Dug a new drainage ditch from Cormorant lake (north), around the latest infill, to enter what is left of Cormorant lake (south)
- Continued their infill of Cormorant lake (north), by infilling along its west and north shores. I've actually seen them do this with Finch pond. Rather than starting on the south shore and working their way north, they fill around the edges of the lake, and then randomly work their ways inwards.
- Virtually all the land mass is now levelled. Flat as a pancake - in civil engineering terms. If Inert follow form, they will now either gouge out huge areas or build up spoil heaps, before flattening the whole area again.
If Inert keep this rate of progress up, they will complete the infill of Cormorant lakes north and south this year. They could even flatten the north and west embankments, along with the centre and east ridges, and perhaps dig out the new, long Manor lake; which should extend from pump station all the way to the copse.
Bird life around what was Cormorant lake (south) has been declining over the past couple of years. Hardly surprising, considering all the activity. The main reason is the lose of open water and, more recently, the lose of the scrape and now the mud flats. This had always been a very popular lake for birds. Far more than Finch pond, which was always strangely devoid of birds. I put this down to both the mud flats and the scrape that existed in Cormorant lake (south). I hope the new, improved Manor lake will have scrapes and mud flats. Though I suspect not - just more bleedin' reed beds which hides everything.
Needless to say, the whole land mass and surrounds were eerily silent, with birds conspicuous by their absence around the land mass and Cormorant lake (north). Not that the latter ever sported much in the way of wildfowl. All I saw were about four Canada Geese and a couple of Shelduck. Even the reliable Tufted ducks and Mallards were missing.
On the other hand, they (and other wildfowl and birds) can now use the excellent Fleet Hill farm restoration or Moor Green Lakes and, as we've seen, what was Finch pond. I assume they are also breeding to the east and north east of Manor farm i.e. the east mudflats, Hawthorn lake, the grasslands and Manor lake itself. I wouldn't know as I've stayed clear of those areas.
Once again, before the slide show, a badly drawn image of where I think restoration has got to. New bits in blue, asbest I can estimate.
A polite notice first: All photographs on this blog are owned by me and subject to copyright.