Fringe Box



Riff Raff Diary – June 2017

Published on: 12 Jun, 2017
Updated on: 12 Jun, 2017

Riff Raff Cottage and Weir

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

by Robert Craig

With the April showers waiting until May to arrive, there were a few adjustments to be made to the weirs during last month but on the whole the ground seems to be soaking up a lot of the rainfall.

As I had taken some annual leave during May I was kept busy getting as much mowing and strimming done as possible, prior to my absence, and I continued with this task for the remainder of the month on my return, doing my best to keep on top of the fast growing vegetation at this time of year.

The locksides and moorings at Millmead and St Catherine’s were cut as well as visitor moorings along the towpath and the moorings at Stonebridge wharf. At Stonebridge the car park and area around the toilet blocks were also strimmed.

A male black cap – one of the warbler group that are nesting by the river

On the towpath I have been focusing on those narrow sections such as in Guildford where the taller vegetation can cause problems falling over into the centre of the path.

This coming month the mowing and strimming will continue combined with pulling up as much of the invasive Himalayan balsam as possible.

The sharp bend with the roller bar that used to be employed to keep the tow ropes of horse-drawn barges free of the undergrowth to the left where an osier bed was once located.

On the sharp bend by the roller under St Catherine’s Hill I will be strimming the vegetation down to ground level, the purpose being to provide boaters with a clear view, helping them to avoid any oncoming boats.

Barn owl – photo Malcolm Fincham

As well as the large number of warblers nesting in the area I am glad to say that, after a break in sightings, I am now seeing the barn owl quartering the meadows at dusk near St Catherine’s again.

See you by the river.

Share This Post

Responses to Riff Raff Diary – June 2017

  1. Stuart Barnes Reply

    June 19, 2017 at 8:26 am

    Nice to hear from Robert – always a cheerful chap to see along the tow path.

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *