It’s August and the river should be close to its lowest level as the summer sun blazes down and the water on the moor dries up – after all we still have a hose pipe ban, don’t we? So how come, for our most recent Working Bee, the weather meant we not only had to go to plan B but actually ended up at Plan C!

Piers’ Working Party Report August 2023As previously shared, we want to spend some time doing preventative maintenance on the bridge, but to lift the platforms means accessing it from underneath and the river has been running too high to safely wade in.

And that was the issue for Plan B as well. As Simon’s piece mentions, a large sweet chestnut has fallen on our northern boundary in Colquite Wood and its upper branches are across, and in, the river creating a fast-flowing channel against the western bank – erosion in the making!

But again, safely cutting the branches away needs the water level to drop significantly so no go on the 5th August after a night of storms and high winds.

So those brave souls who ignored the weather forecast and turned out set to on Plan C, clearing more self-seeded Douglas firs on the middle path in Colquite. As it turned out, the forecasted rain didn’t materialise and as result, we’re nearly there – there are still one or two large clumps of
baby Douglas, but as each one comes down the light floods in and it is that which will encourage the native broadleaf saplings to start filling in the middle layer under the towering mature Douglas. You can see what I mean along much of the middle path where we have done this work before – why not come for a walk and have a look? Anne: I did, and it’s certainly a lot brighter along there.)

Piers’ Working Party Report August 2023Hopefully Plans A and B can be revitalised, and the mid-month Bee will get things done on August 16. If not, we can try again on 2nd of September when we will meet at 10.00 for the September Bee, then again on 20th at 18.00 – see you there.

Anne’s note: Thanks, Piers and our intrepid volunteers – I can testify to the wind strength that day, as I flew into Newquay Airport just before the gale reached its peak, having been told by the pilot that if he couldn’t land the plane we’d be turning round & going straight back to Glasgow!! Fortunately he landed it beautifully.