Just before Christmas we were able to restart the pump to reduce the water levels in the main mere, after connecting a new outlet. This was an exciting time with sinking boats, falling over and plenty of mud.
First job on the list was to uncurl the 4 x 100 metre sections of pipe (each weighing ¼ of a tonne), this took some effort due to the pipes being strapped into sprung coils.
After 2 pipe sections had been successfully uncurled the challenge of dragging the pipe across the mere began. A dingy promptly named “HMS Kings Dyke” was attached to a winch on the other side of the mere. The pipe end was loaded onto the dingy and the winch started. Slowly, “HMS Kings Dyke” inched its way across the mere battling reeds and pond weed, dragging the pipe behind it. With a brief interlude to connect the 2 pipes together the job was swiftly completed. However, “HMS Kings Dyke” did not survive the ordeal, after being hit by an underwater obstruction it unfortunately deflated. The other pipes were unrolled, connected up and the pump turned on. End of drama and problem solved, but the weather had different ideas.
Over Christmas we had some very heavy rain, which flooded the quarry next door where our water was draining into. We either had to stop the pump or prevent our water from exiting the reedbed. The solution was to construct a clay bund across the outflow ditches to stop the water draining over the cliff. However, as the water keeps rising we will have to keep raising the bund level until a proper sluice can be constructed.
Thank you to all the volunteers who made these two projects possible. All volunteers were socially distanced and adhering to government guidelines.