Thursday Volunteers

Thursday, November 16th 2017

The Thursday volunteers have been working hard on a number of small projects.  The ponds alongside Risedale Beck are fed by water running through pipes from the beck.  Dams have been built to keep the water at the right height for the pipes but sometimes the dams are broken when the beck is in flood.  The first task today was to repair one of the dams to get water flowing back into the pond.

After that, repair of netting on one of the boardwalks keeps people from slipping or getting tangled in the broken netting.  This will continue to be an important part of the volunteers' work over the coming months.  A female Sparrowhawk flew from a stone under one of the bridges along Risedale Beck as the volunteers were making their way to the dam - more typically a site where you would expect to find Grey Wagtails or Dippers!

Meanwhile, work over the last few weeks on the wetlands has seen 5 of the ponds cleared of vegetation that was taking them over, with work having started on another 3.  The wetlands are gradually returning to being the diverse range of ponds that provide a wide range of habitats, with over a dozen Mallard and two Snipe being seen.  After a couple of weeks, the disturbed sediment in the water has gradually settled.  There are signs of Water Vole activity and one was swimming and disappeared with the characteristic 'plop' just before dusk.  

Continuing work on the wetlands and removing Gorse that is taking over some of the other areas will be among the main tasks for the volunteers on weekdays and on the monthly Worky Days over the next few months.

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