This work party was a case of ‘more of the same’. The two major tasks which were started during March event were taken to their conclusion. A second similarity to March was the good weather over all three days.
Just about the whole workforce was occupied in the installation of the rip-rap on the banks and towpath construction over all three days. In total 20 tonnes of rip-rap stone and 10 tonnes of crushed stone for towpath construction were shifted by power barrow from the compound to the work sites. The work of manually spreading the rip-rap stone was finished by Saturday lunchtime. The towpath work followed the well tried pattern of repositioning the newt fences, installation of the boards, and the placing and compaction of the stone sub-base. The work was notable for the amount of extra fill which had to be added to the towpath to bring it up to level. Whether this is due to consolidation of the fill or subsidence remains to be seen.
The surveyors were busy both setting out chainage pegs and also estimating the volume of the vast pile of spoil which has been excavated from the Crickheath site. The latter will eventually be used as fill on Phase 2. The battle to repair the damage inflicted on the terram newt fences around the compound by the local rabbit population continued.
The Society has now finished all work that is possible under present circumstances, and accordingly the scheduled May work party will not take place.
Elsewhere contractors have been very busy. The ground investigation works on Phase 2 are now finished and the results will be used in the design process for the channel. A newt fence has now been installed around Phase 2 which connects that around our compound with the similar barrier around the contractor’s compound at Crickheath. Newt trapping has already started and, if all goes well, there is a possibility of the destructive search and site strip starting during the scheduled June work party. But, and there is always a ‘but’ with matters connected with newts, this is dependent on favourable weather conditions.
The contractors are still in residence at Crickheath. The shaping of the channel base is now confined to a small area in the winding hole. Most of the concreting at the north end of the site is finished but a substantial area of the south end, including most of the winding hole, remains to be done. When this work is concluded, and the water pumped out of Phase 1 for the Crickheath water test, we will once more have access to the Phase 1 channel.