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Restoration & Hedge-laying Work Party Report - March 2011

March 5 & 6

 

The headline news for the March work party was that hedge-laying along the whole length of the section was completed. Under the indomitable leadership of Margaret Powell the job was completed on schedule, just before work would have had to be curtailed by the start of the bird nesting season. Over the winter some 40 volunteers have contributed to the work and the photographs show the Sunday contingent standing in front of their handiwork, and the high standard of work that has been achieved.

As with previous sites the hedge-laying project completely changes the view of the surroundings. In the case of Redwith it is now possible to have pleasant views of distant hills from the towpath rather than the thick mass of overgrown vegetation.

At the Pryces Bridge end of the site a surprise awaited the volunteers on arrival on Saturday. The recently excavated section of channel looked like, well, a canal! A combination of rain, groundwater and a blocked field drain had conspired to dump about 40 cubic metres of the wet stuff in the channel. Pumping this little lot out took much of Saturday. This job was however considerably aided by the discovery of a ditch in an adjacent field giving access to the brook which is culverted under the canal. On Sunday work was concentrated on extending the French drain in the channel bed to a point some 75 metres from Pryces Bridge. This drain provides not only a way of quickly removing rainwater but also a means of lowering the water table which is essential to allow the bentonite lining to be installed.

Also on the drainage theme, work to channel water from the spring next to the culvert was completed. This work is necessary since the spring is located under the eventual site of the offside bank. The opportunity was also taken to provide a french drain into the culvert manhole from the channel.

Only a limited amount of earth-moving was possible since digging in the flooded channel was impossible. However some shaping of previously dumped material was possible to form part of the offside bank in the area of the spoil tip. The other important task that was finished was the remedial work on the towpath wall to make good the ravages of the winter frosts.

The March work party marks the changeover between the winter tasks such as hedge-laying and the summer construction activities. On the menu for the forthcoming events are recommencement of stone facing of the retaining wall, surfacing the towpath and the much anticipated work on lining the channel. Watch this space!

 

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Last month's caption proved too accurate Completed hedge
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The Hedge Gang The drain was extended on Sunday
Experts were looking into it
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