Down the Rough Cascade Part 1

With the dam breach repaired, the two lower ponds dredged, sealed, and shaped, and the smooth, sizeable river boulders positioned back on the shoulders of the dam-head, I watched the slow steady rising of the water level in middle pond with intrigue. It was probably the first time that pond had held water for almost a century. I was convinced on Thursday 13th March it would over-top and spill for the first time down newly restored cascade, but at 9.30pm it was still a foot away from the top. A few more visits waiting for the cascade to start showed the influx of water had slowed down, although the pond systems bypass culvert was still in operation whilst work continues at the top pond. Then, a little before 6.00am on Saturday 15th March, I wandered up to the Park to witness the first natural water spilling over the cascade. A steady trickle slid silently across the top, after which, guided by our master stone-waller Rhys’s skilful manipulation of the alignment, batter and rake of each individual stone, the water spread sideways in both directions to fall down the entire width of the cascade. In the morning’s half-light, and despite the supply only arriving from the few springs that emerge from the lower park, a continuous gentle splish-splashing gave a perfect accompaniment to the growing dawn chorus. I can’t wait to see it in full flow. Thank you Rhys, John, and team, it’s a beauty!

Enjoy the view

Joe Hawkins