welcome to our community in the heart of Surrey!

Riff Raff Diary September 2014

Heading into September my time will be spent strimming the towpath vegetation, bank repairs and some hedging now that the nesting season is over. At the beginning of last month it was still possible to pull up some of the invasive Himalayan balsam at Stonebridge Wharf and along the towpath, now having gone to seed I shall have to wait until next year to resume the battle.

Down at St. Catherine’s lock at the moment you may have noticed various work boats including the large steel barge, Mary. These belong to contractors working for the Environment Agency, who are clearing the backwater of fallen trees and vegetation from below the Riff Raff weir to where it re-joins the navigation downstream of St. Catherine’s lock. The brash (root balls, tree limbs, trunks etc.) is then transported upstream to Broadford meadow where vehicles can access the navigation in order to dispose of it.

Each year we have a commercial crayfisherman on the Navigation, who catches the invasive Signal Crayfish (sadly our native White-clawed crayfish disappeared from the Wey long ago) and removes them from the river – in the least few months between Godalming and Stoke he has caught nearly 3 tonnes of them!   

Canada Geese have started passing overhead in v-formation, honking loudly, and the Common Buzzards are now virtually a daily sight; in the evenings the meadows surrounding the river are covered with a blanket of low lying mist, all heralding the passing of summer.   

See you by the river.

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