Work Party: Tuesday 20th June 2023

Work Party: Tuesday 20th June 2023

The threat of morning rain had our volunteers watching the skies as we set to work at the Buried Lock site. But we needn’t have worried as after a few spots it was another warm and pleasant day, which was good news as we welcomed our guests, a group of ten staff members from the HSBC bank, for a session of team building.

After a safety briefing, an introduction to our project to regenerate the Buried Lock area, and a quick tutorial on using cement mortar, Mike F set some of the group to work lining the by-wash channel with recycled stone, and others to collecting more material from our large stockpile. This continues the work previously started by our volunteers, and the stretch of wall the group completed was a welcome addition to our own efforts. Malcolm kept an eye on their progress, and they certainly seemed to enjoy their time getting hands-on and dusty!

Nearby, Martin and Alan W used our work boat Nellie to clear a bank of reeds from just above the buried lock grating. It was dirty work as ever, but the reeds spread so quickly at this time of year and with the grating area reduced as part of our ongoing development work, keeping the channel clear is a key priority.

Bob and Aled tried out Bob’s electric outboard motor on our big green boat at Coed Gwilym Park, but he didn’t get far! The large amount of weed in the cut kept snagging his propeller; his small battery didn’t stand a chance and was flattened in no time! His adventures will resume another day, but with a bigger battery!

David G, Ronnie, Chris Grav and Helen had their own ‘garden party’ around the canoe store! David and Helen weeded and trimmed the borders and towpath edge, whilst Ronnie and Chris put in some lovely plants which had kindly been donated by a friend of Chris’s. As summer progresses the borders are becoming a riot of colour and a testament to their hard work, although keeping them all watered has been a challenge!

Meanwhile Gordon, John Grav and Canal & River Trusts’ Mark Prosser installed posts and Nicospan netting on the off-bank below Coed Gwilym Park, and dug out a bank of silt which has formed across the canal, impeding water flow. The low water level and slow flow rate has contributed to the build up. Shovelling the silt behind the netting barrier both builds the bank and improves water flow, which will itself help to flush more silt away, and it gave Gordon a chance to get his legs out!

We all met up at the lock site for refreshments and delicious cakes baked by Alan W & Chris Grav. Gordon took the chance to express our thanks to the HSBC team for their efforts in extending the wall lining, and the hope that we would be able to arrange more corporate days during the summer. We were all glad to finish by 1pm as the sun was beating down but, as always, we’d made a noticeable difference in every area we tackled and everyone had had fun.

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