After a welcome visit from Duncan who helped take the remaining dead trees from the middle and far end of the Cress Bed Pond, my friend Emily who made her first visit to the site and I set to making a fire. Gathering most of the reduced and cut down deadwood, I then grabbed a good handful of sun dried and now fluffy bulrush head seed fibres, scrunched it up in my hand and used this to start the fire. Lit in two places, a few lung fulls of oxygen and some bone dry kindling, up it went.
I’m leaving a few log piles to rot and hopefully encourage all sorts of bugs and fungi. Logging the heavy stuff and the rest is going up in smoke.
The Cress Bed breathes again
Having never seen a working cress bed, it’s hard to tell exactly how it was all pieced together. The obvious necessary element to the farm was a constant supply of fresh, mineral laced water. There are two bore holes on the site, one capped and working, the other rusted and as far as I can tell – LEAKING! Water from the bores was carried along side channels with holes in the side wall every metre or so, this flooded the bed and filtered along to the other end and eventually into the central ditch running down the centre of the site. (I am guessing mind you!)
Today I spent a few hours carrying on the wet and muddy job of clearing one of the remaining cress beds which I want to turn into a feature of the Cresslands site. It has a couple of patches of bullrushes which I am keeping but intend on clearing ALL of the rest and possibly digging into the bed to create some depth enough for fish.
There are a few waterlogged and dead trees to take out as yet, but the area is already proving fertile in life, with caddis fly larvae, pond skaters and snails, as well as a regular duck visitor.
The only relatively untouched cress bed getting cleared