This week the working party was on a mission to clear a sandbank created by a small stream feeding into the canal about 1 kilometre north of Coed Gwilym Park.  The depth of the canal was reduced to little more than inches, creating an obstacle to the journey by canoe up to the locks at Trebanos.

 

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Our numbers were swelled this week by eight volunteers from Virgin Media. Two canoes were lashed together to form a raft, in order to transport tools and personnel up to the work site Volunteers Andy, Gordon and Gareth re-enforced the off bank with a ‘nico-span’ barrier supported on 4 inch willow poles.

 

 

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A lining of ‘terram’ geo textile was added to strengthen the structure and allow water to drain away.  With this complete, the volunteers set to work digging silt out of the canal and back-filling the barrier.

 

 

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After an hour or two the channel was noticeably deeper and the opposite bank was very much improved.  The newly created bank will soon turn green as summer approaches and some native species will be planted.

On the towpath side of the canal volunteers Gordon, Gareth and Nigel were busy repairing the bank where a ‘wash hole’ had formed and was starting to undermine the footings for the towpath.076r

 

 

 

Several volunteers were litter picking in the vicinity, and two enterprising fellows made use of the improvised raft to clear up some fly tipping from the opposite bank. While some of the Virgin Media volunteers stayed at Coed Gwilym Parc and painted the railings.

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The before and after photos illustrate the improvement to this section of the canal.  The water level is now more than enough to allow easy passage up to Trebanos.

 

 

A group photo opportunity was followed by the arrival of a team from S4C who came to do a Welsh language feature on the work of the Canal Society volunteers.

It was a very productive day with a record 30 volunteers enjoying the sunshine, camaraderie and lovely cake (thank you Andy and Gill).

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Blog and photos by Michelle