Piers’ Working Party Report November 2022Firstly a thank you to those hardy few who responded to my plea last month. We still desperately need more volunteers but our numbers are increasing slowly – maybe the ‘please help’ message is starting to get across! Anyway, it was a close call on Saturday but in spite of the rain (and England playing in a must win cricket match!!!) we went ahead with the monthly volunteering session.

It’s that time of year when the salmon swim up our rivers to spawn and with the Lynher getting a successful health check this summer we want to maintain our efforts to protect their nesting sites along our stretch of the river.

When the salmon are ready to lay, they dig out holes in the sand and lay the eggs directly into these. The eggs are held in place by the sand and when the young hatch they initially stay in these nests until they are strong enough to swim around. However if the sand is disturbed during this period, the eggs or young fish are washed away and will die. Sadly it only takes 4 paws or 2 feet to cause this to happen, so a seemingly harmless paddle is not what it seems.

You’ll remember last Autumn we re-routed two thirds of the riverside path in Broadwood to move visitors inland and hopefully encourage them to keep away from the river’s edge and dogs out of the water. But that left one stretch where there are high cliffs on either side and there is no opportunity to move inland. Sods law being what it is, there are sandy stretches ideal for egg laying right where the path gets closest to the river (particularly just upstream from the fallen oak). So our rather soggy mission was to try and put up barriers that will hopefully convey the message that we need everyone to keep away from these important nesting sites – for at least the next 4 months. Using the posts harvested a few months back and a lot of brash we have put up a barrier which I tested with my dogs the next day. I am pleased to report they didn’t really pause but just kept walking past – either having forgotten this access to the river or accepting that they are not wanted there.

As always there is more to do – and there are other reasons we go on (and on!) about keeping out of the river. At this time of year the water can be pretty fast moving and over the summer some new cuts have emerged where the bank is cut away as visitors try to get to the water. Using these cuts now could be dangerous so please do not use them, and perhaps more importantly don’t expose your pets to the danger; I know a lot of dogs who are just dumb enough to jump in and I would really hate for them to get washed away so please be careful. Also there is a little phrase which is worth mentioning. “Vegetation grow by inches but dies by feet” – please keep your feet off and stick to the paths!!!!

Finally seasonal greetings to you all and don’t forget Stara for your Boxing Day stroll. The next volunteering event will be on December 3rd at 10.00 am – see you there?

Piers

As always, thank you to everyone of our Friends and volunteers for your continued support. It makes it all worthwhile.

FINALLY……

….. to echo Piers, we hope you all have a

PEACEFUL & JOYFUL FESTIVE SEASON!

For information about Working Parties, contact: Piers Freeman piers.freeman@btinternet.com / 01579 363748