In all the excitement of Christmas, I haven’t had a chance yet to tell you about my latest Riversearch. For those of you who are new to this blog, Riversearch is a scheme run by Surrey Wildlife Trust, where voluntary River Wardens regularly survey their stretch of river. We look out for (and report) pollution, non-native invasive species, and more positively, signs of river wildlife like otters and water voles.
I did my most recent survey just before Christmas. It was quite a contrast to the same stretch a year ago. On Christmas Eve 2013 the River Mole flooded, hitting the national news. When I surveyed it in early January (once the water levels had receded enough to get near it), the meadows along it were like lakes.
Christmas 2014 was different. In fact, the remarkable thing was there was nothing remarkable to see, for the first time. No storm-felled trees. No burst banks. No dumped rubbish. No invasive species. No kingfishers. No deer prints. No people paddling. No intriguing cache of fruit. Nothing. Just the river at a normal level, doing what rivers do best.
Still, even this rather dull data is useful, I’m assured.