Fringe Box



Riff Raff Diary – May 2016

Published on: 8 May, 2016
Updated on: 3 Jun, 2016

Riff Raff Cottage and Weir.

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

by Robert Craig

April started off with a visit to Artington parish from the Mayor of Guildford, Nikki Nelson-Smith.

We used one of the National Trust electric launches, SeeWey based at Dapdune Wharf, for the visit. Luckily the weather was kind to us and we had a very pleasant trip from Millmead Lock upstream to Stonebridge Wharf and back without a soaking.

In between periods of weir keeping I spent last month getting on with a mixture of bank repairs, fencing and, now that the vegetation is really growing, towpath mowing and strimming.

So far I have been concentrating on the narrowest sections of towpath in Guildford. The locksides and moorings at St Catherine’s and Millmead have also benefited from a mow and a strim.

The bright yellow marsh marigolds are looking splendid at the moment, especially just downstream of St Catherine’s Lock at Bog Meadow by the roller on the bend in the river.

This year has also proved to be a good one for butterflies with sightings of orange tips, holly blue, speckled wood, small tortoiseshells, brimstone, and peacocks.

There are plenty of visiting warblers to see at the moment near the river – chiffshaffs, blackcaps, willow warblers – and among the broom in the meadows there are linnets in good numbers.

On the water I recently saw a great crested grebe; although a relatively common bird in this area I tend only to see the little grebes. So plenty to look out for at this time

See you by the river.


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