Cooper Wood – Ongoing Boardwalk Maintenance

Friday 10th June 2016

Cooper Lane is a quiet cul-de-sac sandwiched between Old Lakenham and the River Yare, close to it’s confluence with the River Tas (location F on the ‘Where we work’ page on our web site). It is down this lane that you will find ‘Cooper Wood’ where we were working today. A very tranquil and peaceful oasis very close to the busy Hall Road, yet the only intrusive noise you will hear is the occasional rattle of a train on the Wymondham line (which is just the other side of the river) on its way to Thetford and beyond.

Ongoing boardwalk maintenance and clearing of vegetation from the boardwalk.
Ongoing boardwalk maintenance and clearing of vegetation from the boardwalk.

The wood itself is fairly small with a short ‘U’ shaped path and board walk which runs from Cooper Lane down to the edge of the river and on to a meadow at the very end of the Lane. The board walk required some more TLC, as yet again several of the boards needed to be replaced. In the winter period when the river levels rise this board walk can be under water for weeks at a time, so replacing rotting timber is an ongoing task. All the rain and moderate temperatures we have had in recent weeks has led to rapid growth of the nettles and reed along the edge of the path, so these were cut back with brush cutters. If left unchecked in these damp conditions, the nettles would soon be over head height and hanging over the path, so as they can give an unpleasant sting, they had to go.

Examples of male and female Common Blue Damselflies (Enallagma cyathigerum) and the Large Red Damselflies (Pyrrhosoma nymphula). Photos courtesy of David Kitching from the British Dragonfly Society website.

There is a good variety of wild life to be seen here; looking at the river there was plenty of red and blue damselflies as well as several Banded Demoiselle floating about and under the water lots of small fish to be seen. I am sure that if you sat still long enough you would see the blue flash of a Kingfisher on its hunt for food.

Written by Alan Rae, Norwich Fringe Project Volunteer.