Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Burwell Lode Bridge....Ramp.....Nears Completion

The bridge over Burwell Lode is still a few years off as there is a great deal of fundraising to do but the works on its beginnings are almost complete. The ramp, although not to a bridge, will for the time being provide a nice spot to sit and look across the fen. Hopefully all of the machinery will be gone in the next few days and we can get on with ticking off any snagging like building a low fence up the ramp to deter motorcyclists and getting our new signs up.

The Environment Agency has also been carrying out some work on the line of willows next to the existing bridge over Burwell Lode. Although not really anything to do with the NT as they are on EA land and the work is being carried out by them it is still very interesting. The work is being done to prolong the life of the trees and ensure that the haul road beneath them remains clear for routine works and emergency access and repairs.  Willow trees are prone to snapping and this group are no different, several had already cracked and many of the others showed signs of cracking in the near future. The tops are pollarded to remove weight and allow for the tree to re-grow, it looks severe now but in a few years they will have a good covering of new branches. One small bonus was that I managed to get some of the wood from the trees chopped up for the wild campsite. We were very kindly loaned a log splitter, which left me and Lois an afternoon getting about two tonnes of logs split and ready to dry for later in the year.

On Tubney Fen I managed to get a job done that has been waiting for some time, chopping the overflow pipe to size next to the mere. The mere is surrounded by a ditch, we decided a while back that we would like to make sure the ditch was full of water whenever possible to deter people from walking along the top of the mere’s banks and scaring the birds. To do this we put in a pipe under the track with a right angled bend pointing straight up into the air in the ditch, when the water in the ditch reached the height we wanted it would flow down the pipe and under the track filling a ditch in the field. 

The Fen Cottage is getting a bit of serious TLC and a few ‘improvements’. The roof is being replaced and the top floor in the room at that end is being reinforced to help get it back to a more original condition. There is much more than this happening too, I shall try to find out for an update later. Jamie from Cambridge Restoration is carrying out much of the work, the pan tiles went up pretty quickly today and from what I hear the roof underneath, although rather bent has held up well considering its age.  

The nine horses that were rounded up for the RSPB at Middleton Lakes are due to go on Thursday morning. So if you are down on Harrisons drove then and see a bit more of a hubbub than usual that is what is happening. Our Grazing Ranger has been having some early starts for the past few weeks getting them ready to go into a pen, which they have not been used to at all as previously on Bakers were they pretty much roamed where they pleased. The same people that brought some of our horses over in the 90’s are coming to do the transportation side of things, the transporter lorry is very high-tech with cameras and so on to monitor them during the move. 

Easter is soon, so a lot of our work for now is trying to get the place up to shape and looking its best. As usual you can follow me on twitter if you like @vision_warden.

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