Sunday, 22 July 2012

Managing Banks

Moored where we are access to anywhere is somewhat limited.  You can walk the flood bank in one direction or the 'wash' in the other direction. 
The R. Cam flows between flood banks and washes, the land behind the banks is below sea level and is a reclaimed, rich peaty soil producing valuable crops;  acres of potato and sugar beet and wheat for as far as the eye can see.  
The washes are areas of low lying land between the river and the flood banks and these are allowed to flood when the river levels are high providing perfect conditions for wild birds.   Heron, Little egret, Oyster Catchers, Terns and Geese populate the the wash and Great Crested Grebe and Swan patrol the river.

 Walking the flood bank

Little Egret
Dark peaty soil and a potato crop

Drainage of the surrounding farmland and the maintenance of the drainage ditches and lodes is vital to the productivity of the fenland land and one of the jobs is keeping the lodes clear of weed so that water flows and can be pumped UP into the river.

 I spotted Mr Weed Cutter busy in a lode behind a pumping station

Not an unpleasant job..

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