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Posts Tagged ‘Mersey Valley’

Yesterday we were back in a familiar pond in Chorlton Meadows and with familiar company: members of the Friends of Chorlton Meadows, of course!  We’ve worked here several times in the past, and once again were clearing reeds to maintain an important section of open water, in order to keep this habitat as diverse as possible.

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Today we were in action at Chorlton Water Park.  We were working first on some path resurfacing following water damage, then repairing two sets of steps.

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Steps in Kenworthy Wood

Today saw our volunteers visit a new site in south Manchester. We were helping in one of the corners of Kenworthy Wood which lies alongside the complex of motorway junctions hereabouts. It gives quiet access to the meandering River Mersey and useful shortcuts between suburbs and also shelters the thread of the Trans Pennine Trail (National Cycle Network route 62) as it links Southport to Hull via the likes of Chorlton and Didsbury. It’s a great green space with remnants of a small orchard amidst the exuberant summer ovegrowth.
We were helping repair a long flight of wooden steps close to a reedy pond situated deep in a hollow ringed by trees at the edge of town.  The task involved scraping back the encroaching grasses and wild flowers which are slowly absorbing this track. All the rotten planks and pegs were levered out and hefted to the side to be taken away.  Six new pre-cut planks were inserted and levelled and pegged securely.  And finally we wheelbarrowed new hardcore down the steps (carefully!) and tamped it in to seat the planks.
What had been mooted as a two-day task was completed by mid-afternoon including time for a tea break and lunch! A good day with a helpful breeze.

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Only a hardy few volunteers made it out in today’s rather dreary grey weather.  We were working at Chorlton Water Park on willow groynes at the edge of the lake.  These groynes provide an important wildlife habitat and help to prevent lakeside erosion.

We harvested willow from an existing groyne on one part of the bank and used that to create a couple more small groynes at the far end of the lake.  We also had a chance to see how the groyne we worked on a couple of years ago is now looking very established! 

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The wildlife area at Chorlton Water Park has been developed in conjunction with the RSPB over the last few years, mainly for educational purposes.  Today we helped with some maintenance: planting, mulching, laying new woodchip on the paths, and clearing debris from the dipping pond.  And there was plenty of spring wildlife to be observed while we were about it!

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Our first activity of 2017: some work on the willow groynes at Chorlton Water Park!  These groynes are important in protecting the banks from erosion and providing a valuable wildlife habitat.  There was only a small band of volunteers out today but a pleasant misty winter’s day and some good work done!

Update, March 2019: While back at Chorlton Water Park we’ve been able to see that the willow groyne is now looking well established!

Established willow groyne

Established willow groyne

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Today SACV members were out with the Friends of Chorlton Meadows.  We haven’t worked on this pond for the past couple of years, but as in 2012 and 2013 our task was to clear some of the reeds and overhanging willow in order to maintain an area of open water.  Without this, the pond will continue to close in and silt up, and might gradually cease to be the important habitat it is, including for the variety of birds – such as reed warbler, reed bunting, water rail and willow tit – which can be sighted here.

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