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Riff Raff Diary: April 2019

Published on: 10 Apr, 2019
Updated on: 10 Apr, 2019

Riff Raff Cottage and Weir

Riverbank tales from the local St Catherine’s lengthsman and weir keeper

by Robert Craig

A combination of high winds and rain during the first half of March meant that I was kept busy with weir keeping duties and tree inspections on the length checking for any damage.

An alder came down near Ferry Lane from the council’s land, which they dealt with promptly, whilst on the Railway Line walk, there was a small hung-up tree for me to clear.

When things had calmed down I was able to get on with some strimming of brambles and cutting back of willows at Stonebridge Wharf, having first checked for any birds now that nesting season is underway. I have also prepared new signage posts and have them ready to erect on the Railway line walk. They needed replacing having suffered from a mix of vandalism and rot.

The warmer dry days later in the month provided the perfect opportunity to get on with some lock painting. I couldn’t believe my luck when the dry weather held allowing me to complete the painting of St Catherine’s Lock. This has only happened once before, as we are normally hindered by showers at this time of year.

Along the river bank now there is a show of colour with all the spring flowers emerging. In the middle of March, I saw my first clump of lady’s smock; just the one. Now, a couple of weeks later, it is everywhere and looks absolutely stunning particularly with the bright yellow of the celandines surrounding it.

Marsh marigolds – photo Geograph

In Bog Meadow near Ferry Lane, there is a wonderful show of marsh marigolds to be seen.

On the wing I am seeing brimstone and orange tip butterflies – Lady’s Smock is one of the Orange Tip caterpillars food plants.

See you by the river.

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test One Response to Riff Raff Diary: April 2019

  1. Sue Warner Reply

    April 10, 2019 at 4:42 pm

    I love reading the lengthsmans’ diaries. So interesting.

    I wonder if they have any say as to what is put alongside the towpaths. It would be so nice to have seating along the river – old logs would be fine. I would much prefer to be able to sit and watch the river than have these fancy sculptures that mean nothing.

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