Wilderness

Riverbank Wilderness Wm

 

This week we have travelled a path rarely trod.

A trek up the far reaches of the Amazon perhaps? I wouldn’t have been in the least surprised to see monkeys swinging from the trees.

No. But it is another land that time forgot: the wilderness at the bottom of the garden.Β With the weather forecasters predicting torrential rain, it was time to have a look at the state of the river.

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Getting there is a journey in itself.

Using a strimmer, Mike has carved out a way through and fashioned a path using well trodden earth from The Heap.

 
 

River 004 Wm

 

The river is so low now, little more than a trickle in places.

But the storms and high rainfall of last winter and spring left a staggering amount of debris in their wake.

 
 

River debris 002 Wm

 
 

River debris 001 Wm

 

We’ve made good progress in clearing a lot of it away.

 
 

Erosion defences 001 Wm

 

In very wet weather the river can rise two or even three feet higher than it is today, running through in a torrent.

The force of the water on this bend has caused a partial collapse of the bank. With the river doubling back on itself at this point, if the erosion continues we could soon be the proud possessors of an island! So what to do. Perceived wisdom currently is to hammer in a line of stakes, attach some sturdy wire mesh and back fill with stones and earth. In the manner of a gabion.

For the moment at least, the water level is lower than the top of my wellies..

But will we make it before we need waders?