Fringe Box



Riff Raff Diary – December 2016

Published on: 1 Dec, 2016
Updated on: 2 Dec, 2016

Riff Raff Cottage and Weir

Riverbank tales from the local St Catherine’s lengthsman and weirkeeper

by Robert Craig

The river is looking very beautiful at the moment, now we are enjoying more typically seasonal weather. The frosty mornings and mists over the water are providing some great photo opportunities.

If you want a treat look out for the flaming orangey red leaves of the Swamp Cypress trees growing by the river near Ferry Lane, St. Catherine’s.

Swamp cypress, opposite entrance to Ferry Lane from the towpath

Swamp cypress, opposite entrance to Ferry Lane from the towpath – Photo Robert Craig

The dabchicks or little grebes are also putting in an appearance now; they always seem to be more visible when the weather turns colder.

Little grebe or dabchick

Little grebe or dabchick

Work has been continuing on the annual winter cut back of vegetation along my length combined with clearing the encroaching ivy growing on the Bargate stone wall by Langton Priory.

Rob Riff Raff

Rob Riff Raff clearing ivy from a bargate stone retaining wall

The soil build up at the base of the wall will be used to fill in areas of ponding on the towpath and to effect ongoing maintenance of the riverbank.

I have also had a couple of large fallen alder trees to deal with recently. One came down across the navigation just downstream of Farncombe Boat House.

Chris (from Triggs) helped me deal with that tree and we were able to clear it from the river completely. Whilst doing so we received notification of another Alder across the navigation just above Triggs lock. So Chris and I then headed back down to Triggs and we cleared that one, finishing just as the light was beginning to fade and rounding off a busy day.

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