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Montgomery Canal Restoration Review 2017

 

Three major projects occupied the Society’s volunteers during the 2017 restoration season, all of which had to be completed to a deadline. Two sections of channel received attention and there was a lot of work on newt compensation measures.

On Phase 1A, that is the first 75 metres from Pryces Bridge, the channel has been shaped, lined with various waterproof layers and then covered in concrete. The concrete in the bit nearest Pryces Bridge was mass concrete because of the proximity of the adjacent house, and the rest covered with blocks. The programme dictated that this section be finished by the end of the year so that a water test can be carried out over the coming winter. This has been achieved.

The rest of the year’s work was connected in some way or another to the presence of great crested newts in the whole of the Pryces Bridge to Crickheath channel. This consisted of newt exclusion work in the Phase 1B channel (the section at the rear of our compound), and newt compensation ponds located on the site of our former base at Redwith. This work is sometimes questioned by towpath visitors, but it should be remembered that it is a legal requirement - no newt ponds, no boats.

The Phase 1B work comprised enclosing the section with a newt fence in March and, after CRT ecologists had trapped out the newts, stripping vegetation off the site and carting it to Redwith. Again a deadline – this time the requirement for completion before the newt hibernation season.

The work at Redwith involved the construction of newt ponds (six to date and counting). These are a pre-requisite for the submission of a newt licence application which, if successful will enable work right through to Crickheath. It would be fair to say that this work has not been without problems but with perseverance this job too was ultimately successful.

So a busy and successful year on site. Roll on next year!

 

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View from Pryces Bridge in May and November
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Freshly filled newt pond
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Phase 1B after fencing
November 2017
2016 Review
March 2018

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