Last month’s work party report described us as being ‘treated’ to dry weather for its duration. We had more of the same this time but the hot weather was something to be endured rather than a pleasant experience. The temperature was in the low thirties on all three days which was not so good for the earthmoving machines or the earthmoving volunteers. Both overheated at various times during the weekend, and the busiest volunteer was the one who had the job of water carrier to the various working areas.
Friday saw the visit of a 28 strong group of CRT staff from all over the country. The purpose of the visit was to give them experience of working with, and as, volunteers. They really entered into the spirit of things and got through prodigious amounts of work during the day working as two gangs.
The largest group built a newt fence enclosure at Redwith that will, in due course, accommodate the site strip material removed by contractors from the Crickheath site. The other gang were occupied with unloading rolls of liner at both base and a remote warehouse, moving several tonnes of gravel, unrolling and cutting up one of the rolls of geotextile (which weighs a tonne!), and clearing vegetation around the newt fences at Lloyd’s. All of these jobs would otherwise have been done by Society volunteers and, since numbers were affected by the usual holiday season dip, the additional help was most welcome.
All of the above enabled the Society’s volunteers to work throughout the weekend on channel shaping. The main effort was on final shaping some 20 metres starting from where we left off before.
The finished channel was treated with watered-in cement to stabilise it. This section was finished bar a few metres- sufficient to start lining/blocking next time. The other important work involved shifting large quantities of fill from the stockpile to build up the bank slopes further down the channel. Also the subsidence dip on the offside bank at the rear of the compound was filled. It is early days but the preliminary indications are that we have enough fill to finish the Phase 1B earthworks.
The news from Crickheath is that the newt trapping has finished. The construction contractors are scheduled to start work in the next few days with their first task being the destructive search and site strip.