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Montgomery Canal Restoration Work Party Report - Jan/Feb 2018

January 12 - 14
February 02 - 04

The January weekend was prefaced by a report in CRT's National Volunteer Update, the main point of which was that the trial re-watering of Phase 1A (see December) had been a success. In fact it proved so good at holding water that we spent most of the weekend trying to empty it.

The main task for the weekend was again vegetation clearance. The first morning was spent completing the offside bank along Phase 2A, which was the main task last month. The rest of the weekend was spent at Crickheath where the task was to clear the channel and the offside area around the winding hole and the wharf walls. This is in preparation for contractors to move onto the site in a few months' time. We cleared this site 11 years ago so there were no particularly large trees, just lots and lots of smaller ones which kept the bonfires well supplied. We cleared the offside area around the visitor wharf and the towpath side of the channel from there to Crickheath Bridge and made a start on the offside area around the winding hole.

Last month's report resulted in a comment about a "lack of narrative" so here is a link to the Kindle Store.

Quote of the month: "If Fred didn't exist it would be necessary to invent him."


The week prior to February's work party saw commercial contractors thinning the trees on the towpath side for about 300 m from Crickheath towards Pryces Bridge. Lengths of trunk were left stacked at intervals and our task on Friday was to get them to Crickheath wharf and into a large trailer which was then towed to Redwith by CRT staff to be buried for newt habitat. One problem was that the tide had come in since January so rather than carrying, we formed a human chain to pass the wood across the channel. This involved half a dozen volunteers standing in freezing cold water while the project manager made encouraging noises from the towpath and the contractors shook their heads in disbelief at the entire exercise. By the end of the day there was a huge pile of wood at Redwith, awaiting different contractors who were on site completing the newt ponds. The following week all this good quality non-fossil fuel was buried in what was until recently high-quality arable land, for the benefit of the environment.

The remaining task was to complete the clearance of the offside area around the winding hole up to the bridge which was achieved comfortably by Sunday lunchtime.

Quote of the month: "Who needs the Wolves when you've got a pint of Station in your hand?" (Spoken by a season ticket holder shortly before the Wolves won 3-0)


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Phase 1A in water
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Bonfire on Saturday
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The scene on Sunday
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Chain gang
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View from Crickheath Bridge before and after the Feb WP
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