27 March 2007

It's another glorious spring morning here in the valley.  A bit of a nip in the air but the sun is out, the sky is blue and the curlews are calling up and down the river.  Speaking of which, it's pretty low at present, fishable but starting to look a bit bare on the stony riffles.

This spell of good weather has enabled me to move on apace with the tree planting at Cam Beck and I now have about 120 in place on both banks of the beck.  It was a delight working up there yesterday.  The air was full of the sounds of oyster catchers and curlews and over the hill behind the beck squadrons of tewits (lapwings) were staging an aerial display.  About 3pm there must have been a hatch of fly as the water in Nanny Carr's was literally peppered with risings.  These were all fry or salmon smolts as frequently they leaped from the water and looked to be about 1.5 to 2 inches long.  This went on for about half an hour as I watched in fascination.  It just goes to show how important this place is for the health of fish in our river.

I am mightily impressed with the work that the students did last Wednesday.  They managed to get in the post and rail fence down to the edge of the beck.  This is all in a highly compacted gravel bank and it must have been an absolute sod to dig the post holes.  But, the finished job looks very good and will hopefully withstand the severe floods that sweep this bank.

A day off today, then back up to the site tomorrow to get a few more trees planted and meet Don Gamble from YDMT for an inspection and approval of the work so that we can claim the grant money.  Most work should be finished by tomorrow afternoon.  Then it's just a wrestle with the water gate, make a couple of access gates and a 50 yard stretch of fence to complete on the far bank of the  river.  A team will come up after Easter to do this so we can then sit back and monitor the effect (if any) these improvements bring.

See you soon.

Ian

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