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Riff Raff Diary – August 2020

Published on: 4 Aug, 2020
Updated on: 4 Aug, 2020

Riff Raff Cottage and Weir

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

By Robert Craig

The last few weeks have been challenging, with the spells of very hot weather continuing.

Apart from the business of working in those conditions, the policing aspect of my job has increased with the large numbers of people heading for the river.

Paddleboards on the Wey. Don’t forget your licence.

Unfortunately, there have been issues with a minority of people swimming and picnicking at the locks, which is obviously dangerous and hinders boaters attempting to use the waterway. There has been a large increase in inflatable canoes and paddleboards, which is a great way for
people to experience the navigation but do remember that you need a licence.

Robert Craig at work strimming the towpath opposite Shalford Meadow in 2016.

I have managed to get a lot of mowing and strimming done. On the locksides the grass has not made a lot of growth, so I have been setting the cutter high and just taking the whiskers off. At Stonebridge Wharf I have strimmed the moorings and mowed the paths, and have also been kept busy pulling up as much of the invasive Himalayan balsam as possible.

Swallows notable by their absence this year. Photo Malcolm Fincham.

Along the river, there are still numbers of swifts and house martins to be seen but not so swallows. On a recent visit to the Suffolk coast, I saw large numbers of swallows and sand martins so it is good to know that some made it here after all.

See you by the river.

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