Fringe Box



Riff Raff Diary – May 2017

Published on: 17 May, 2017
Updated on: 17 May, 2017

Riff Raff Cottage and Weir

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

by Robert Craig

The unusually dry April this year meant that for once the conditions were ideal for me to get the locks on my length painted. So St. Catherine’s and Millmead locks were painted without any showers coming along to spoil the finish – a first for me!

Robert gets the painting finished – before the showers return.

The beginning of April got off to a good start with a make your own nesting box event held at Dapdune Wharf.

For the event I had made thirty small nesting boxes in kit form which could then be assembled by those attending. They could be purchased and taken home for a small fee or donated to the National Trust at no charge for use along the navigation.

The weather was perfect on the day and the event was well attended with all the nesting boxes being assembled.

The following day the Mayor and Mayoress of Guildford visited Artington parish on board the National Trust’s electric launch Seeway. Again we were blessed with good weather on the day and the trip from Millmead lock upstream to Stonebridge in Shalford was very pleasant.

Robert at work by the rowing club with the never ending task of strimming the towpath growth

In addition to painting there has been the routine business of strimming and mowing – maintaining visitor moorings along the towpath, cutting locksides, as well as the moorings at Stonebridge Wharf.

Sedge warbler in flight – photo Malcolm Fincham

For those interested in birds there have been some interesting sightings lately, namely a singing nightingale on the railway line walk, sedge warblers and whitethroats near St Catherine’s lock and also redstarts.

A male redstart – photo Malcolm Fincham

The redstart winters in Africa visiting Europe in the summer. It is most common in the north and west. The male has an orangy-red breast, rump and tail, with a black throat and face, white forehead, brown wings and a grey back.

See you by the river.

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