Last fragment of Cormorant lake (south) being infilled. Finch pond (north) floods into Finch pond (south). 5th November 2022
Well folks, I risked a site visit to Manor farm at 7:15am this morning. I reasoned that Inert would not be working overtime. They have slowed activity considerably this past month.
I was correct. No sign of Inert on Manor farm or Chandlers farm. However, the morning was dreary, dull, overcast and drizzly with light rain. We've had almost continuous rain this past week, some of it quite torrential. This has resulted in lots of wet, sticky mud, that clings to boots like super glue.
Firstly, I sank up to both my knees in soil in a quite unexpected place. Notice I said soil - not mud. Just north of the yellow vehicle bridge, sits the last piece of topsoil capping that Inert did. Now, I have wandered over a lot of capping, with no problems. However, as I made my way north from the yellow bridge, my feet were sinking up to my ankles.
No problems, I thought, as I started towards what was Cormorant lake (north), took one step which plunged (and I mean plunged) straight into the capping topsoil right up to my left knee. Momentum meant my right foot continued forward a step, and promptly sank into the capping topsoil, over the top of my wellingtons and over my knee!
Bugger! I thought, not again. At least I didn't have any DSLRs with long lens. However, extracting myself was really easy. Firstly, the bottom of my boots hit the old vehicle track - which was rock solid - partly as it is made out of rock (chalk/limestone) and partly as it was compacted by vehicles driving over it. Secondly, the topsoil was really friable (think pastry that has been mixed to crumbs) and did not cling onto my boots like mud does. Getting my boots out was really easy as I didn't have to overcome any sucking like mud does.
I declined to visit the former Cormorant lake (north) to see what Inert were up to three weeks ago.
Anyway, what have Inert been up to this past two weeks?
As postulated on Wednesday, the two diggers were infilling the last fragment of Cormorant lake (south). I'm quite surprised Inert have chosen to use diggers for this. A bulldozer would be much faster. I assume there is a logical reason, though it escapes me.
Regardless, the diggers have made quite a bit of progress, albeit slowly. Many of the mounds of soil that dotted the area have now been flattened. Though, I am not sure how much of the spoil has been pushed into Cormorant lake (south) and how much has been shipped over to Chandlers farm.
Not only have most of the mounds disappeared, the area appears to be being excavated a tad. This will be in keeping with the area being the new, long Manor lake. It is meant to be a shallow lake, with deeper bits. I still reckon there is too much spoil in the area, and some of it needs to be removed. And it is spoil - with lots of bricks and other inert material. I'm not sure if Inert will cap the area with a layer of clay type soil, as they have done with Finch pond.
Our faithful pump was off, this morning. I always find it haphazard when this pump is running. Seems such a waste of energy. Anyway, water levels in the current Manor lake are low, but we have had torrential rain this past week, and the next four days looks pretty wet. This means Manor lake will quickly fill with runoff from the Ridges.
Case in point is Finch pond north - aka Orange segment pond. It is now bank full, and has breached it south eastern corner. Water is flowing into Finch pond (south), and then through the culvert under Longwater road.
Although Inert have slowed right down, I think they are still on schedule. The bulk of restoration is almost complete, and is due to be completed by December. There is a curious bit north of the Bailey bridge, which is due for completion by spring 2023. Oddly, it calls for mineral extraction to be used for paving paths - no doubts the bridlepaths around the new reserve.
A polite notice first: All photographs on this blog are owned by me and subject to copyright.