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Riff Raff Diary – December 2019

Published on: 17 Dec, 2019
Updated on: 16 Dec, 2019

Riff Raff Cottage and Weir

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

By Robert Craig

Something of a mixed bag weather-wise just lately, which has meant chopping and changing between tasks.

Having made a good start with the winter cutback along the towpath, the wet weather then arrived. This meant switching to mainly weir keeping duties with some strimming of the towpath during the brief dry spells.

Riff Raff Weir by Robert Craig’s Riff Raff Cottage being replaced in 2012.

I was able to check on the small nesting boxes that I had erected earlier on in the year at different sites along the navigation. I had done this as part of our nesting box project. So far I have put boxes up on the Catteshall, Triggs and Walsham lengths.

Most of the boxes had been used for nesting and there were only a couple that will need replacing. I am looking forward to the 2020 nesting season to see what residents our boxes get.

The low water levels on the Wey navigation by Shalford Meadow has allowed the riveting to subside into the river.

If you have walked the towpath between St Catherine’s Lock and Millmead you will, of course, have been aware of the reduced water levels on that section of the navigation, caused by a breach in the bank at Millmead.

We are working closely with Guildford Borough Council and the Environment Agency to mitigate the impact on the river and waterway.

A ring-necked parakeet.

Whilst out and about checking nesting boxes at Catteshall I saw a Red Kite and a Little Egret in the air at the same time. At Triggs there were a number of rose-ringed parakeets in the treetops, whilst at Walsham I had some close sightings of Common Buzzards.

See you by the river.

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