20180626_185424Beneath the baking sun and the spire of St. Peters Church our two work parties spent time over two days clearing the litter, fallen trees and invasive weed from the channel between Herbert Street and Holly Street.

Ronnie 'fishing'Michelle, Ronnie, Mike and Paul met up on Sunday. Here is Michelle’s account of their  work.

“This month I planned for us to work on clearing weeds just above Herbert Street bridge.  This was successfully carried out using the Aspen Weed Rake and the home-made ‘throwing’ rake.  The weed appears to be Canadian Pond weed.  There were many large blooms of the weed covering about fifty percent of the open water.  This had broken the surface of the water,  with bottles and debris caught up in the weed.  We managed to clear a significant amount of weed.  This was placed along the edge of the canal and allowed to drain and dry out.  We filled four non-refundable builders bags with dried weed and carried them down to the compost heap in the compound at the southern terminus in Pontardawe.

Meanwhile, down by the Pontardawe New Brewery (built in 1837 and one of three in Pontardawe) Mike and I hauled a large fallen tree branch across the canal to the tow path side.  We removed several of the larger branches and stacked them nearby.  The ‘trunk’ is still in the canal;  it’s removal is another job for Tuesday.

 MIke tries to get the tree out.

MIke tries to get the tree out.

We saw numerous fish, dragon flies and a pair of ducks.  We also noticed two ‘rodents’ swimming along the off bank.  Too big to be water voles, not dark enough to be mink and they were not wriggling as they swam as mink will often do.  They were probably rats, and could have been about eight to ten inches long.
We then ‘retired’ to the Pontardawe Heritage Centre for coffee, sandwiches and a pleasant ‘de-briefing’ in the glorious sunshine.  I would ask others to join us for our monthly work parties”.
On Tuesday we continued with the good work that the Sunday Work Party had started.
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Oda and Kevin

We were joined on Tuesday by Oda and Kevin from the Canal and River Trust. Kevin is a Waterways Manager and Oda is one of their Environmental Officers. They went up to Ynusmeudwy Upper Lock with Michelle to make an environmental assessment prior to the arrival of the Waterway Recovery Group who will be with us for a Summer Camp work week at the lock from August 4th to August the 11th.
Thanks to everyone for their hard work in sizzling conditons and thanks too
to Martin Davies, Paul Rapsey and Michelle Davidson for the photos.