20180717_220206The state of the canal south of the Mond Lock has deteriorated quickly this summer. Halfway between the Lock and the Pont John bridge the channel is completely lost in invasive American reeds. It is as if it does not exist for about fifty yards. Remedying this situation is not a job that can be done in a day, and one that cannot de done without the help of the Canal and River Trust and their contractors. We have been promised  that they will be with us soon. Between Pont John bridge and the Clydach Aqueduct surface weed, such as azolla, is the  problem so its removal is a task we can undertake with grappling irons, Aspen Rakes and drag forks.


20180717_220329                    Below the Aqueduct the problem changes once more. It is green blanket weed which forms exclusively between the Aqueduct and the end of the canal next to Players Industrial Estate (picture, above left). It forms because the water is stagnant below the Aqueduct. A skimmer boat is required to remove it and we do not have such a craft. Mike as you can see does his best with a drag fork. The Canal and River Trust will provide such a boat soon.   All of these three different challenges are not helped, of course, by the plastic ‘icing on the cake’, which is the addition of thoughtless litter disposal as a top dressing. The right hand picture shows Alan dealing with the ‘crud of the crop’ below the Aqueduct.

One temporary answer to the weed problem (but not the reed problem)is to lower the stop planks on the Aqueduct thus increasing the flow of water into the river below. This is not something that can be done without the permission of the Canal and River Trust and the river authorities so that too must wait for another day.

We do our best and are not disheartened.

Photos courtesy of Paul Rapsey and Martin Davies.