I've often remarked on how perplexing I find the restoration process. Tuesday morning was no exception. Last week the pump was off. I assumed this was because Inert would not be returning to restoration until about the last week of June or first week of July.
Imagine my surprise to find the pump chugging away, and the north gate of the Bailey bridge wide open. Are Inert about to return to filling in Manor lake?
I'm not sure, and will not say so until I see bulldozers, diggers and heavy earth movers trundling around. I did bump into Inert's site manager some time ago, and he said he had to turn the pump back on as water levels in Manor lake and the main reed beds (the bit called East fen by MGLG) were too high. May be this is why the pump was back on. Waste of diesel if not.
However...you saw that coming...with Manor farm now plumbed into Fleet Hill farm, I don't understand why Inert don't simply dig a drainage ditch between Manor lake (east) and Manor lake (west) to drain the area. Cheaper than burning diesel.
I don't forseee many problems with Inert continuing restoration whilst the breeding season is in full swing. I witnessed and commented on the fact that birds and mammals are totally unfazed or worried about vehicles trundling around their nests. It's only when humans appear that they get into a flap.
Of far more danger to the ground nesting birds are the dogs and their owners, and other interlopers who are sometimes seen on the site. A lot of fencing along the south footpath has fallen over, allowing easy access to the site, and some of the home owners on the north edge of the site seem to consider this area their own park - frequently seen taking their dogs for exercise along the northern flanks of Manor Farm. Their dogs are not on leads!
Anyway, wildlife has taken to Manor farm with a vengeance. There are now at least six pairs of nesting Lapwing. One I have seen has a nest on the 'scrapes' in Finch pond south. Can't see Finch pond north as I stick to footpaths during the breeding season. Little Ringed Plovers are back, as well as Skylarks, and a whole load of geese.
Biggest problem for the Lapwing and plovers is maintaining their breeding places i.e. pebbly, rubble ground. The rate at which vegetation is taking hold is phenomenal. I fear these areas of 'post industrial wasteland' will be gone soon, as there is so much focus on wetlands, reed beds and marsh.
A polite notice first: All photographs on this blog are owned by me and subject to copyright.