Trees, Dams and Drains

Monday, February 27th 2017

This was not the usual relaxed start to the week. Today we were assisting our contractors running around prepping jobs, indicating what jobs needed to be done and helping where we safely could. The first jobs for Sean and Simon, our tree surgeons, was to finish the various pollarding and coppicing around the Field Centre.

While they were up the trees Willie was on the ground fixing an on-going problem with the middle of the Cascading Ponds. If you have been reading the blogs over the past year you will have read that we have tried fixing the leakage problem in this pond before. Basically the water was flowing under the dam instead of over it, and no matter how we repaired it the problem would re-appear. So Willie and his digger tracked in to move the heavy boulders and pack clay and stone to create a permanent seal.

 Simon and Sean were by now on the Beck Bank taking off Ash limbs to allow the shaded Hazel to flourish. This was a delicate job with such massive branches being lowered to avoid damaging our cherished Hazel coppice.

Later, Willie was on with a drain blockage at the Bullet Catcher. This archaeological remnant is part of an old firing range which was decommissioned over 40 years ago, but the main wall still stands. The blockage had been there for the last year and, although the flow of water from the Beck to the pond was good, at the inspection junction water had been welling up and flowing uncontrolled back to the Beck. After rodding both ways I found an inch root had entered the pipe and was the cause of the lack of flow, once cut off and pulled out we could see the extent of the blockage, ‘It’s like a massive fox tail’ Willie exclaimed!

Simon and Sean had missed a few Willows by the Field Centre parking area as the first of the afternoon showers started to fall….

…. supervised by Gus, Sean’s dog!

Willow buds are brimming to explode, Spring is rolling in.

 One of the parents from our ‘Building For Birds’ event last Friday sent this pic of a Blue Tit using the feeder that they had made on the day…. great to see the benefits of our efforts!

Thank you to our contractors Willie, Sean and Simon for being so amenable, wilco, and hard working.

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