Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Floody Sunday.

Floods are old news by now; everyone has a story to tell of sandbags, traffic jams and so on, even over here in the English Sahara where we get the same annual rainfall as Jordan. (At least, we used to.)

On Sunday morning Kimbolton was flooded and the Mill Crossing at Little Paxton was closed. Then the main (Thrapston) road into Huntingdon went under water and the river continued to rise. Traffic around Huntingdon and St Neots backed up a bit, but it was much worse on Monday morning, and yet the river continues to rise. It always takes about two days for floods to come down to us from above Milton Keynes.

Every year at this time, the family of Rory Mcadam gathers in Rory's Wood to undertake some conservation work in his remembrance. In the early days the work was mostly tree planting but now the main task is to stop the spread of turkey oaks from the parish boundary wood. It is a never-ending task as we have to kill off the regrowth from old stumps and combat the spread of fresh seedlings. This year we have seen a major influx of jays from the Continent and every one of them seems to have come to Rory's Wood to plant acorns.

Jay in Rory's Wood by Joe Downey.
I'm always amazed at the turn-out for this event. The Mcadam Clan seems to cover the world and different countries seem to be represented each year. This time we had a couple from Dunblane in Scotland, and you might just spot the man with the tan in the photo; he lives in the Caymen Islands (or was it BVI?) Having travelled all those miles, they had trouble getting through the local floods on the day. Then we found that Southoe Brook was flowing through Rory's Wood!

You have to ask yourself; "Does all this effort really make any difference?"

Absolutely it does. As the scrub has thickened up, the number of warblers has also increased. We had two pairs of nightingales in Rory's Wood this year. All the rotten timber has benefited beetles and fungi, making the wood one of the best in the area for a fungus foray and we had a few sightings of more unusual birds such as spotted flycatcher, turtle dove and woodcock.