Newsletter – Winter 2013

Welcome to all our members and those who enjoy the canal. It has been looking especially beautiful with the autumn colours on all the trees and it is well worth a walk along the tow path. WHAT WE HAVE BEEN DOING Virgin Media Volunteers

We were pleased to welcome Virgin Media Call Centre Volunteers to work with us on two separate occasions. Some chose to clear flowerbeds and pathways and re-plant them with Welsh daffodil bulbs grown in Pembrokeshire.

Others got down and dirty in the mud to widen the canal which has narrowed over the years with the build up of vegetation growing on the fertile silt. Some volunteers were ferried across the canal to help prepare a section for the canoe hire business. (See New Projects).

More volunteers walked up the canal to do rhododendron and branch removal. These were blocking the channel and preventing small plants from thriving and seeds from germinating.

The job of litter-picking is a constant necessity so other volunteers scoured the area. Local Development Plan The SCS have strongly opposed the proposals to remove the route protection from the Canal between Trebanos terminus and Herbert Street in Pontardawe (the piped section) and the section from Godrer Graig to the Neath Port Talbot boundary, just north of the Ystalyfera Aqueduct. This is a vital Heritage Area and the restoration of the canal will help in regenerating the towns along the canal.

Waterfront Museum Exhibition The Canal Society had a stall at the Waterfront Museum on Sunday 6th October, as part of their canal exhibition. There was interest from many of the museum visitors and some new members were recruited as a result. Wildlife – Bats and Bees

A walk was organised along the canal at dusk by the Water for Wildlife Officer, who provided bat detectors, tuned into a variety of ranges. We heard and saw three species of bats; Daubenton’s bat, the Common pipistrelle, the Soprano pipistrelle, and learnt a lot about bats and moths. The WWO hopes to be leading some more walks in the spring. The Bumblebee Conservation Officer visited the canal, to look at the areas around Clydach Aqueduct, Trebanos Locks and Ynysmeudwy Locks and advised us on plants and seeds that could be used to enhance the canal and support the insect population in the area. Historic Photos

The Swansea and Port Talbot Docks Retired Section have kindly allowed us to show the collection of canal photographs by Gareth Mills on this website. The photographs are posted in the ‘Historic Photos’ Section of the Members Galleries and are well worth looking at. NEW PROJECTS Canoe Hire Great news. A successful application for funding for canoes and all the related equipment needed has been made to SPLASH, with some additional funding from MSCT. This will enable the society to set up a hire scheme from Coed Gwilym Park for local people, groups and clubs. We also hope to be funded by Sports Wales to train volunteers to coach and support canoe users. Waterways Recovery Group We have been successful in our bid to have another Waterways Recovery Group Summer Camp in 2014. They will once again be working on the Trebanos Locks and this time they will be here for two weeks.

Canal Displays in Clydach

There will be a display in Clydach Library with photos and information on the Swansea Canal from January 24th. If you get a chance do pop in to see it.

Brownsters Cafe in Clydach is having a wall dedicated to photos and information on the canal. ONGOING WORK Tuesday Work Parties

The work party continues to meet on a Tuesday morning, working on different areas of the canal each week, according to need. We have welcomed several new volunteers over the past weeks, but we are always happy to have new people join us, as and when they are available. We would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. More photos, further details, reports and events are on our website. www.swanseacanalsociety.com Chair: David Henry Secretary: Martin Davies Treasurer: John Gwalter

SCS, 238 Swansea Road, Trebanos, SA8 4BY Telephone:08442094548 info@swanseacanalsociety.com Charity Registration Number 1105624