With local COVID lock-down measures still in force in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot, we split ourselves into two sections once again. We had to dodge some sharp but mercifully brief showers but it takes more than a drop of rain to stop our volunteers.

Clydach

Work was in and around the Hidden Lock site. First to step up to the plate was Gordon ably assisted by Peter, Gareth and Andy. They cut back a tree in the grounds of St. Benedict’s Church that was dangerously overhanging the tow path.

 Tree4  Tree6

Sue gave the loo a much needed and thorough clean before helping Gill to wash the outside walls of the Site Office. It is rumoured that their release from the compound for good behaviour is imminent.

 Loo4  Loo5
 Wash4  Wash2

Martin continued to tend the garden, including pruning a wayward buddleia.

 Martin2  Martin3

Mike found this amazing fungus. It seems to be a small puff ball fully encased in a second, orange-sized ball that had opened to reveal its contents. Brownish on the outside, whiteish on the inside

Searching on-line suggests it might be geastrum quadrifidium the Four Footed Earthstar, but can anyone confirm its identity?

 

 Fungus3
 Bob1

Bob and John worked again on the boat moored in Coed Gwilym Park. No photos of the work, but here’s one of Bob anyway.

Gordon proudly demonstrated his new winch. A truly Heath Robinson construction of bits scavenged from a cement mixer but, although a bit of fine tuning is needed, it certainly works – immense pulling power delivered in a controlled and stately manner. The plan is to use it to pull his dredger (made from a gas cylinder!)

 Winch4  

Pontardawe

Ronnie, Mike, Dave and Paul Today cleared 100 metres of towpath and canal wall between Herbert Street and Holly Street bridges. Pulling up, cutting and digging out vegetation. By removing the plants from the canal wall, the roots won’t burrow in causing damage. Mike has entered the canal in waders, hopefully after curing the leak. Paul is collecting and emptying the waste into gaps in the hedgerow. Dave is cutting overhanging brambles and clearing the edge with a spade. Ronnie was removing stubborn weeds from the stonework and sweeping the path as we moved forward.

 Ronnie1  Ronnie2
 Paul1  Paul3
 Ronnie4  Paul2

Continuing the wildlife theme reported yesterday, although perhaps not equaling the otter, Mike found a stickleback, a group of mallards paddled by and an amusing cat on the off-bank followed us, clearly stalking something but appearing to watch us.

 Fish2a
 Mallards1  Cat1

So, once again, COVID-19 meant that we had to adopt a strange way of working, but it will pass – eventually.