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Riverbank tales from our local St Catherine’s Lengthsman/Weirkeeper
by Robert Craig
With the unsettled weather continuing during July (and a holiday booked in Cornwall) prioritising my tasks was necessary. Prior to heading off for a well-earned (according to my manager) break, I cut and tidied the moorings and did a thorough litter pick.
On my return, with the weather improving, the remainder of the month was spent catching up with mowing and strimming along the length. Using the ride-on mower Stonebridge Wharf, Broadford allotments and the towpath were cut. Some of the pinch spots along the towpath unsuitable for the ride-on have also been strimmed to avoid heavy or wet vegetation falling inwards onto the towpath.
The battle with the Himalayan Balsam continues with me pulling up as much as possible prior to its going to seed. There is an abundance of the delicately-flowered Meadowsweet to be seen at the moment along the river, along with Hemp Agrimoney and clumps of the strikingly beautiful Purple Loosestrife to be enjoyed. If you’re around the St. Catherine’s area about dusk you may be fortunate enough to see the Barn Owl which is still putting in an appearance.
Work is now beginning on the replacement of the Riff Raff weir at St. Catherine’s as well as improvements to the path in front of the cottage, whilst the work is taking place a temporary bridge will be in place for access across the weir.
See you by the river.