Another Cray Riverkeeper Volunteers bash.
Spent the morning with Gaynor bagging the bl**dy awful 'grot spot' on the downstream side of Maiden Lane bridge. The mindlessness of the morons responsible is mind-numbing. They drive all the way there to fly-tip stuff that could go to the Council dump less than two miles away. They leave piles of beer cans and plastic bottles that the Council collects from the kerbside on a weekly basis, and they chuck litter on the floor a few feet from a litter bin. Tests one's 'liberal'-mindedness and makes the idea of DNA-testing this stuff and shooting the bast**ds seem an attractive proposition ......
Found a couple of less-than-a-year-old Smooth Newts hibernating together under some plastic sacking, and there were a few clumps of frogspawn in satill water by the downstream footings of the bridge.
Stupidly failed to take a 'before' picture, but here's an illustration of the scale of the operation (a few sacks were of rubbish collected further along the path) from afterwards.
In the afternoon, three of us put on the chest-waders and went into the water at the Thames Road 'wetland' site to rake up some of the Reed and Reedmace we cut the other week and pile it up to make potential nest incubation sites for Grass Snakes (CRV Co-ordinator Ashe Hurst reported finding the remains of a dead one on the sewer bank later that evening). Three others litter-picked the surrounds.
Three of the four Grass Snake nesting sites constructed from layers of cut Reed, Reedmace and other vegetation can be made out along one of the raised banks in this rather gloomy late-afternoon shot
Another big problem along this end of the Cray is the large amount of Giant Hogweed, seen here coming back into growth below the south side embankment near Maiden Lane