Blue Flower

Thursday 28/7/22 We recently had trouble closing the container door, so our first job was refitting hinges which hold the shutter sections together, as several had come away. The container will be removed from site when the Kestrel boxes, water butts and other Green Grant items stored in there are removed and installed. 

I poured clean water on the glass panel over the brick floor as it was covered in thick dust. We plan to have more panels like this on the upstream brick floor which we are covering with soil to prevent frost damage, this will become a Cornfield flower area with glass panels showing the original floor in the corners.

The river is still very low, the floor under the water wheel is completely dry, this week a Grey Wagtail was there, this is close to one of the Grey Wagtail boxes on the river wall, so it's probably nesting there. Eddie watered the Ash tree we planted last week, the Cherry tree looks healthier as we watered it last time. Eddie cleaned and refilled the bird feeders, as well as levelling out soil and removing nettle roots from around the small Oak tree. 

I tidied the visitor centre and sorted through crates of finds, I put some on the walls and shelves, the rest were stored in tubs in the loft. There was a Peacock Butterfly on the window which I released. I added planks of wood to the harrow I made, to make it more sturdy, this is for preparing the soil. Finally I tidied the shed and put up hooks for storing garden tools, there is now room to work at the bench and get to the shelves. 

Ryan was not with us today as he was at RAF Marham Families Day. We looked out for aircraft and saw a Spitfire and a single Red Arrow, but we missed their display as we were busy working, so thanks to Carina, Gary, Paul and John for their pictures of the Red Arrows in action.

Debra walked down with Labradors Henry, and Hector who had a sock covering an injured foot and wasn’t allowed in the water, but he broke free of the lead and went in, losing his sock in the river, which Debra waded in to retrieve. We discussed the recent river alterations that create fast flowing water to carry away silt, Debra said these are designed to help prevent flooding by being low, so any high water has the full river width to escape.

Thursday 4/8/22 We repaired our footbridge as it was hard to swing it across, we removed the floor panel over the bearing and found Ivy tangled around the mechanism which Ryan and Eddie pulled away. Eddie drilled a hole in the top plate and poured oil into the bearing. The bridge swings across much easier now. The nut for the locking screw on one of the telescopic foot brackets had broken off, so the bracket was removed for Ryan to take home and weld the nut back on. Cows in the field came over to watch us working.

While we were repairing the bridge we had a visit from the Groom and Andrewartha families, I showed them around the mill and visitor centre including our new displays of items found when making the wildflower area and video of the water wheel turning. I explained our Wildflower and Green Grant projects and mentioned our open days on 17 & 18 September.

Eddie watered the gardens and Ash tree, then strimmed around the tree and noticed the insect houses are in use, as some of the cells were sealed up, and insects could be seen going to them. We’ll move them to the wildflower area when its ready. The bird table had blown over so we took the opportunity to move it nearer the picnic bench, the fall loosened screws in the base so we tightened them and staked the table to the ground. 

I fitted a tool rack on the shed wall and screwed hooks from Eddie’s mum’s toolkit, and some tool clips to it, then filled it up with tools, screws and nails. I tidied the bench and put instructions for the new equipment in an expanding file. Ryan and I got the rest of the spades from the container and put screws in the shed wall to hang them up.

Ryan made bases for the water butts behind the shed using bricks and soil mixed with river water, the old water butt is for filling the header tank in the visitor centre for the flushing toilet, the new one is for watering the garden and cleaning finds. We will fit the water butts and plumb them into the gutters soon.

When we finished work we were sitting at the table having a rest when Eddie noticed a Water Vole at the top of the river bank, it went down the bank, then swam across the river. As they are uncommon I reported the sighting to Norfolk Biodiversity Service for them to record. On our way back we stopped and cut overhanging brambles on the riverside track and saw a Heron in flight.

Graham Bartlett                

Interactive Plan   Activity   Heritage Open Days  Green Grant   Wildflower Meadow   Volunteer  Previous 

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