Once again the weather gods were kind, after a day of rain and with a weather forecast that was for a dull, dry day with rain later – the sun shone on the righteous once more! This was Saturday 22nd November 2014 and the day was particularly good because, once again, we were parked alongside the road down to Clearbrook and the leat was just a few steps away – so much easier for carrying the tools and machines that we needed.
The next photograph was taken looking the other way, at the starting point of our clearance work – the leat is quite overgrown. Note the holly tree because it appears in the final photograph.
The work involved cutting a lot of brambles, some gorse, hawthorn and dead bracken.
The leat has been neglected for many years and the hawthorn, bramble and bracken were hiding this 1801 Georgian feature from view.
About 200 metres from the today’s starting point, heading south, there is a small clapper bridge (shown above) where the leaves the golf course and this just about marks the end of this part of the leat that we are working on.
The volunteers today were Anthony Lewis, Chris Francis, Derek Collins, Elaine Viant, Helen Wilson, Ian Aldersley, John Lucas, John Viant, Keith Ryan, Mally Stephen, Nigel Peace and Sylvia Hamilton – 12 in total – a real group of stalwarts who achieved excellent results. My thanks, as ever, to Sylvia on this occasion for the cherry cake!
The lack of shadows in the photos as the day progressed indicates that the weather forecast was beginning to become accurate – it started to rain lightly towards mid-afternoon. This was the signal to manage the situation by withdrawing(!) and leaving enough work for the next work party when we expect a few more volunteers and need some reasonable task for them to do. The final cutting and clearing await!
The distance cleared total was just over 100 metres although the machinists had gone forward almost another 100 metres, leaving the last dregs of scrub to be cut next time. This final photograph (with the same holly tree) was taken in the light rain as we left – it shows the same view as the second photograph above, except that the DPA volunteers have once again “done their stuff” – it looks very clear of vegetation.