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Thursday morning, November 3rd began wet. Very wet. Various volunteers awaited an email telling them the work party was off, but the email never came … so eight volunteers arrived at the Sustead sites at 9.00 a.m. – or a little later in a couple of cases! As the rain eased, Trevor gave us our instructions – to clear the very overgrown scrape on the Surveyor’s Allotment.

The scrape was first dug on August 8th 2017, when a huge afternoon thunderstorm promptly filled the newly-dug scrape to overflowing.

The purpose of the scrape is to take the run-off from the road and the field opposite and filter it so that the cleaner water then runs on into Gur Beck in a less polluted state. Each year, the sediment and vegetation builds up so that, by the end of the summer, the scrape is greatly overgrown and the sediment has accumulated at the edges, causing the area of water to shrink considerably. Hence today’s work party.

Nigel, Trevor, Stu, Carol, Elizabeth, Roger and Jonathon worked really hard to clear the vegetation and dig out the sides and remove some of the sediment from the bottom – some of this was added to the low bank between the scrape and the footpath. This was hard work, particularly barrowing the mud and carrying the vegetation over quite muddy ground. Trevor also unblocked the channel under the road to ease the flow while others cleared the weir that separates the scrape from the channel taking the water to the beck.

A job well done and many thanks to those who defeated the weather! The next work party is on Saturday November 19th at East Beckham Common.


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