Well, the Middle Level Commissioners said that they would be dredging the local river soon after the 'pollarding' and they have been as good as their word.
The silt removed from the bed of the river is deposited on the bank and that will be a strip of fertile land this summer. It is in fact a vegetable patch where one of the retired farmers grows new potatoes, carrots, beetroot and peas for local consumption so we will be helping him eat them come summer-time.
The digger operator, who has been doing the job all his life, was saying to me that at one time there would have been dozens of eels to put back in the river but in the two hundred yards he'd cleared so far he hadn't seen one. Clearly a sign of the times.
Meanwhile I'm thinking that this is quite definitely the way to clear a weedy swim in the summer, a little bit more thorough than a rake-head on a rope.