November 2003
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This months nature report was to have a look at the effects of erosion on the bank of the River Dane, however as you will see Andrew our webby wandered of topic a little.

Fallen willowAs you can see from these photographs taken by Paul at the beginning of November, a willow tree on the opposite bank had fallen across the River Dane.

This resulted in a slight change in the direction of flow of the river forcing the water against the bank on our side of the river.

The effect of this can be seen in this photograph.

The water has cut into the bank and it collapsed into the river.

A couple of days later Andrew went to survey the damage for himself.


As you can see from this photograph the height of the bank is considerable.

For some idea of the height scale the person you can see above the bank is Andrew's son 7yr old James.

For safety he is not standing on the edge, but 3ft to 4 ft (1m+) back, so there is a little distortion in the comparison scale.

The height of the bank is about 8ft to 9ft (2.4m / 2.7m)

If you look closely towards the center / bottom of the picture above you can see that there is an object protruding from the sediment of the bank.

The close-up (left) shows that it is the remains of a log that was covered when the sediment was deposited.

A closer look showed a second object indicated by the red arrow.

From above the object proved to be an old pot

It turned out to be made of metal and was in quite a fragile state, which leads Andrew to think that it was unlikely that it had moved far if at all from the place it was uncovered.

This has the intriguing possibility given the amount of sediment that was potentially covering it, that it is quite old.

Having recovered his pot and now in "Time Team" mode Andrew decided to return the next day to have a further look.

Although he did not find any more pots he did find these two wooden "stake posts"





The photograph on the right is a close-up of the tip of the "stake" in the left photograph and shows where it has been cut to a point.

The photograph on the left shows a second "stake" with a more tapering tip.

Both "stake's" were recovered from in situ in the sediment of the bank about 8ft below the current soil surface.

Andrew has sent the both the "stakes" and the pot for evaluation by archaeologists just incase they are of historical value. We will let you know if anything of interest develops

The erosion not only destroys the bank, it destroys homes as these two pictures show.

This hole is all that remains of some poor animals home.

The close-up on the right shows the entrance into it.

Lets hope no one was home when it collapsed.

More next month PHIL

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