Wow! The weather wasn’t so bad after all and after there only being three of us on the evening of the 2nd August (thank you Mark A and Julie), we had seven of us (Mark A, Judi, Masha and Ian, Pete, Ruben and Mick). We’d cleared the front of Cricket Field Copse on the 2nd, which was quite hard for three but with seven us it was steady away managing the vegetation competing with the bee bank in the Cornfield Arable, observing that some of the sedum was surviving from its green roof despite the very dry summer and getting it ready for the Environment Agency to build their works compound surrounding it in the Spring of 2019, when they plan to prepare for work on the Barrier Bank over the next two years. We also blocked off the hole in the Cornfield hedge line where cattle were getting onto the cycle track.
The Environment Agency (EA) has now requested a scoping opinion in respect of flood defence works at Clifton Ings Barrier Bank from City of York Council and the very rough outline of what they are proposing to do to the area we have managed for nearly 30 years, along with the Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) is now available through the CYC planning portal using reference 18/01737/EIASP https://planningaccess.york.gov.uk/online-applications/search.do?action=simple&searchType=Application The request contains a some of fairly substantial verbose documents, as only planners and lawyers can produce, so not a quick read! The important matter is that development on a SSSI is normally permitted but if it is the EA has to provide a strongly argued case with evidence that alternatives have been considered, and then has to commit to repairing any damage and mitigating any loss.
The next work party is on Sunday 2nd September 2018 at the Water Vole Scrape in the Reservoir Basin. We’ll be back to removing Reedmace from the newer scrape and cutting back the Phragmites in the older one – all a little earlier than usual in the hope that it may be a bit drier work! There will be a couple of pairs of waders available, if necessary.