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The Creatures from the Black Lagoon

Posted by sheiladearing on 30 Nov 2010 at 10:07 AM

Kitted out in waders and armed with a powerful pump, five intrepid gardeners recently ventured into the murky pools below the bridge at Rosemoor, searching not for an amphibious Gill-man but the large quantities of silt and rotting vegetation that has accumulated in the pools over the last two years. 

The stream at Rosemoor is fed by a natural spring, backed up by a powerful pump which keeps the stream flowing when rainfall levels are low (not a common occurrence in Devon!).  Over time, silt accumulates in the pools along the stream as a result of soil washing into the stream from the banks in addition to leaves and other vegetation rotting down in the water.  Left to its own devices the stream will gradually fill up with silt and the ornamental effect will be lost.  The silt levels along the stream were becoming quite high and this is the best time of year to clean out the pools.  It is also our intention to introduce fish into the pool above the new footbridge so we were keen to dredge that particular pond as soon as possible.

 Phil, Dave, me with the rake and Johnny getting ready for action

By plugging the pipe which carries the water under the main bridge and pumping water out of the pools into the Lower Bog Garden, Phil Peard soon had the water down to a manageable level and we were able to venture into the pools with our springbok rakes and Devon shovels.  The silt was put into buckets which were then manhandled out of the pools and into the nearby trailer.  The silt was then dumped onto the compost heap, no-one having shown any interest in Dave’s suggestion that a trailer-full of silt provided the ideal opportunity for a restorative mud bath!  Helen’s photos show the team at work in one of the pools.

 Phil and Dave carrying out buckets of silt

 Loading up the wheelbarrow

Despite a few sticky moments, no-one ended up going for a swim, although Johnny B did discover his waders had sprung a leak in a rather unfortunate location. 

Further work is planned on the pools higher up the stream, following which, visitors will once again be able to enjoy the sight of crystal clear waters tumbling down the waterfalls into the tranquil pools along the stream.

James Shepherd

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