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Riff Raff Diary for April 2015

Published on: 16 May, 2015
Updated on: 16 May, 2015

Riff Raff Cottage and Weir

Riverbank tales from our local St Catherine’s Lengthsman/Weirkeeper

by Robert Craig

The unseasonably dry weather in April has been great for getting on with mowing and strimming.  So Stonebridge Wharf had its first cut this season using the ride-on mower; also the locksides and moorings have been cut.

I have been concentrating on strimming the narrow sections of the towpath this last month, particularly between Millmead and Ferry Lane, also in a bid to keep ahead of the vegetation which puts on so much growth at this time of year.

The River Wey in April looking north towards the town with the towpath on the left.

The River Wey in April looking north from just downstream of Ferry Lane towards the town. The towpath is on the left. Click on image to enlarge. – Photo Martin Giles

Up on the Railway line walk at Peasmarsh some clearing of the ditch alongside the walk was required as over time it had silted up and was running over onto small section of the path.  The water in the ditch is quite colourful and I couldn’t help thinking of rich curry sauces whilst clearing it.

Beating the bounds in St Catherine's 1905

Click on image to enlarge.

During April the Mayor of Guildford visited my section of the navigation, to carry out the ancient custom of beating the bounds.  This is where the boundaries of a parish are visited annually to pass down the location through the generations and to check for land encroachment.

In this case it was Artington Parish, which runs from Ferry lane up to Gunsmouth, above Broadford Bridge.  This was done by water using our electric launch Seewey.

Later that same day (the 24th) I was mowing the lockside at St. Catherine’s when a pair of Swallows flew overhead – the first sighting for me this year.

See you by the river.

robert.craig@nationaltrust.org.uk

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