Inert have been very busy over the past fortnight.
Firstly, much to my surprise, they have filled in the drainage ditch between Cormorant lakes north and south. This gambit may pay off, a spell of dry weather is predicted from next Tuesday onward. However, it does mean that Cormorant lake (north) is very full, and looking very nice.
Secondly, Inert have continued the infill of the drainage ditch and remaining mud flats all the way east up to the first major stream of run off from the grasslands and ridges. Virtually all the mud flats are gone.
Thirdly, Inert have continued to infill the north east corner of Cormorant lake (south), working their way southward. There isn't much left of Cormorant lake (south). The remaining fragment is roughly the shape of Great Britain, oriented the same way. I estimate that this fragment is some 30m-40m long (north-south), about 8m-10m at its narrowest (Scotland), and some 20m-25m at its widest (Wales/Cornish peninsula - but without the Bristol Channel).
If the weather stays dry, and if Inert and Co. have at it, I reckon it will take a month or two for this last fragment to be filled in. However, the depth of infill is quite considerable - see accompanying photos.
It should be interesting to see how Inert fill in Cormorant lake (north), if that is the intention. I don't think the water will drain away any time soon. I guess one strategy is to simply infill and hope the water soaks away! However, it would be nice if this lake remains. Though it is so shallow, it will fill itself in very quickly.
Going on the site was surprisingly firm - given all the rain we've been experiencing. Even the latest infill (i.e. drainage ditch and southward push) was quite firm underfoot. Usually, freshly bulldozed earth can have the consistency of quicksand. I know, as I've sunk up to my knees in the stuff often enough.
The vehicle tracks were so hard, I was able to stamp my wellingtons on them to get rid of mud. This is not to say that the top surface of the vehicle tracks weren't a little 'greasy' from the deluge that hit the site 30 minutes before I arrived. Several days of continuous torrential rain, will soon return the site to a quagmire.
I think the area has been a lot drier than I have assumed, given all the rain we've had. As I made my way back to my car, I decided to stick to the south vehicle track. Between the copse and my mighty hill, there is a dip in the track. This area has been my nemesis for months. The bottom of the dip used to fill up with silt, that would overtop my wellies. Many a times I've had to abandon walking along this section of track, having to retrace my steps and walk around it, up on the embankment (which was quite soft going as well) or even having to get onto the south footpath.
Finally, as I approached the Longwater road entrance (for a speedy exit, as there were dark foreboding clouds, above - which did pour, torrentially, as I drove home) I noticed that either a bulldozer or digger had chugged around here. Which ever it was, it chugged northward, along the west ridge, up to the north embankment. I did not investigate, due to said impending deluge.
The pump was chugging away. Not much left for it to pump, apart from the considerable quantity of run off from the grasslands and ridges.
I must say, that as Cormorant lakes north and south near their ending, I do feel a twinge of sadness. I've been recording the process of restoration for over 4 years now. These lakes have become very familiar to me, and it is almost like losing a friend.
A polite notice first: All photographs on this blog are owned by me and subject to copyright.