Closed but very busy
We can't wait for guests to return....we need a rest!
Monday 23 November 2020
A few minutes ago Boris announced the return to regional tiering from 02 December. As the incidence of Coronavirus is very low in this area, we fully expect to be in tier one and open as normal from 02 December. I very much hope so as I am missing having guests and I need a rest!
We have been very busy throughout November since the lockdown was announced. We have as far as possible brought forward most of our winter work. The absence of anglers has made this much easier.
We still have a few things to do which will result in us closing Lodges/Lakes for short periods of time, but most of the work will be finished by the end of the month. The netting of Cherry Springs, to check on the stocks of the Roach as well as the Carp, being one such activity which I am particularly looking forwards to.
We do have several dates which were before blocked out work which has now been completed, meaning that they are now available. These dates include:-
Monday 07-11 December. Kingfisher Lodge on Cherry Springs. Egret Lodge on Cherry Pool
Monday 14-18 December. Cherry Lake Cottage
Please call if any of these dates are of interest.
So what have we been doing?
We have been particularly busy on Cherry Mere. The biggest job by far was to reinforce the bund. For those of you that are familiar with the water, this area of the bund was next to the old island on the east bank opposite the Lodge. Previously we had some boarding there, but it was not man enough for the job. Major surgery was needed.
Cutting a long story short a consultant came up with an ingenious plan to create a scaffolding frame which was anchored also into the centre of the bund. Within the frame on the water side a series of galvanised roofing panels were positioned and pinned in position to create the new green front. We then backfilled with soil behind it. A real back breaking job as all the material had to be manually moved on wheel barrows over 75m+ of ground as access by machine was not possible. My guess is that at least 200 barrow loads was required!! I am sure that the photo above does not reflect the effort or cost involved. Once the scaffolding is painted green and some reeds grow in front of it, it will not be so obvious.
Dave and I also took advantage of the empty Cherry Mere to work all around the lake removing as many of the marginal snags and overhanging branches as we could. Hard work and cold!
You can also see in the lead photo above that Cherry Mere is 'spotted' with a series of floating 'buoys'. There is no need to worry that we have opened up to water skiing! These show the locations of the new oxygen diffusers which we are installing, as part of our new aeration systems, later this week. I will write more about this in my next update.
I love trees and we have a lot of them at Cherry Lakes. They do require a surprising amount of upkeep to be kept looking good, supportive of angling and most importantly safe. Regular readers know that in the summer we had to do some emergency tree work to remove an Oak which had spilt very surprisingly down its trunk in high winds and remove an Ash tree suffering from Ash die back disease.
Each year, we invest in around three days of tree work. A three man team come in from Opus Tree care, always do a good job, and remove any trees which are either a danger to guests or are likely to fall in the lakes. Crack Willows are pollarded partially to avoid this risk of falling in, but also to allow better air flow. As you can see from this picture of a huge mound of wood chippings the tree surgeons were busy. The heat coming off the mound can be seen by the steam rising. Indeed we will have to spread these chippings out further to reduce the risk of spontaneous combustion! We certainly should not run out of chippings this year!
Unfortunately, we had to remove another Ash tree suffering from the dreaded die back disease. At least it will be remembered by those sitting on it in the Cottage swim. The wood is amazingly hard and it managed to blunt several chain saws in the process of cutting the seat out from it. Impressive.....and I hope it will be worth the effort! Who knows our guest may find it a lucky seat when they are fishing in the Cottage swim?
We have undertaken decking repairs to both Grebe and Pochard Lodges. The fishing platform on Pochard, which sits for much of the year just above water level and is covered by artificial grass takes a particular hammering. We lifted the astro-turf to reveal a number of decking boards which needed replacing. We replaced these and inspected the others. We are good for now, but suspect we will have to replace most of them in one go in several years time. We also took the opportunity to re-new the edging of the platform. This time with some Gripsure decking. This is not intended to be stood on, but at least if an angler does so they should not slip!
As well as the installation of aeration systems for each of the three smaller lakes, which is a sizeable investment for us, we also have to undertake the annual repairs to the fishery road. As you can see from the photo above it is looking very worn and sad for itself! I know I am unusually a bit OCD about this, but I hate untidy roads and do not think they are up to our normal Cherry Lakes standards. As you can see we are ready to undertake this work and have 40 tonnes of gravel 'in-stock' to do this work. We will probably need at least one more 20 tonne load. At £38 a tonne you can do the Maths and that does not include a man with a digger to help spread it!
What I want to know is where does all this gravel go each year........the gravel fairy?!