Hedge-laying Work Parties Winter 2007 / 08
February 02 & 03
February 16 & 17
Newtown Sewage Works might not be everyone's idea of a weekend destination. However these bucolic surroundings were the backdrop for the first two work parties of the year. The actual site was the adjacent Dolfor Lock and the task was laying the hedge alongside the lock. Twelve S.U.C.S. members, ranging from expert hedge-layers to complete novices, were reinforced by two B.T.C.V. volunteers. The latter - Fred and Steve - not only got through prodigious amounts of work themselves but, together with the S.U.C.S. expert hedge-layers, gave advice and encouragement to their less experienced companions. The S.U.C.S. contingent included four 'graduates' of the B.T.C.V. hedge-laying training weekend courses held through the winter. The work parties proved that the Society now has yet another skill that can be applied to the restoration.
It was predicted at the outset that the hedge would be a stern test since it included a number of large trees and had been neglected for many years. As the photographs show the results were most impressive. In total some 105 metres of hedge was finished and the site cleared.
Dolfor Lock is similar in layout to many other locks on the canal - having a bridge over the tail of the lock and an elaborate spill-weir above. It is in poor condition due both to the ravages of time and the presence of invasive trees in the brickwork. Dolfor is situated about 600 metres above Freestone Lock on the length currently owned by Severn-Trent Water.
The weekend was efficiently organised by Peter James and Margaret Powell. BW kindly provided one of their excellent new portable welfare cabins equipped with mess room, toilets, secure stores and a built-in generator to provide electricity. The facilities were put to good use by Rich Hamp who gave a sterling performance as Welfare Officer. Suffice to say that tea and cakes were served with an old fashioned charm and civility that is so sadly lacking these days.