Work Party: Tuesday 5th December 2023

Work Party: Tuesday 5th December 2023

Today proved to be very cold but dry so we were soon able to warm up by getting stuck in at two locations. Firstly, Sharon led a team at the Buried Lock site. We are indebted to Martin for the photos and text:

105 native saplings, a generous gift from the Woodland Trust, have been cared for lovingly by Chris and Sharon since they arrived in November. Now each individual plug is ready to be potted on into its own hessian bag in a mix of nutrient rich canal silt and a tree and shrub potting compost.

Christina, Ronnie, Sharon, David, Helen and Martin formed a production line cutting all the available hessian bags into two, securing the ends, and filling them with a mix of the tree compost and the mound of canal silt to the bottom right of this brief video clip.

We ended up with 67 bags containing a native sapling mix of Downy Hazel, Holly, Hawthorn and Field Maple. Thanks to all who helped and to Sharon who made the initial application to The Woodland Trust. The trees will be eventually planted on the offside of the canal to extend the green corridor through the Buried Lock site.

To cheer us all up on a very cold morning we discovered this hollyhock plant budding and blossoming unconcerned by the winter to come.

Meanwhile, in Pontardawe between the Holly Street & Herbert Street bridges, we cut back branches overhanging the off-side bank and cleared invasive weed. As usual, Gordon boarded “Nellie” and the vols simply dragged the branches to the towpath for cutting and careful stashing away. No need for the pulley system this week as the branches were mostly buddleia and fairly small.

There was plenty of weed to remove. The birthday boy – John Gw – Duncan, Andy & others were soon hard at work. We had to be particularly careful to allow the weed to drain fully as it contained many small, silver fish.

The vols from the tree panting joined us in time for tea with a lovely birthday cake baked by Margaret. John was treated to two renditions of “Happy Birthday”. Our chums from Whitethorns were very welcome passers-by as they carried on with their litter-picking duties.

After tea, Andy & Sue took a drag-fork upstream to clear some obstructions from the winding hole. Everyone else carried on with the branches and weed, but the extreme cold sent us scurrying home somewhat earlier than usual.

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