GVCV have carried out clearance work on the Coates site a number of times in the past but, you know what, the darned stuff keeps on growing so we have to keep returning to it. Basically we are keeping the existing structure of the canal in as good a state of repair as we can pending commencement of serious restoration works.
We joined members of the standing canal maintenance team and our main objective on the day was to clear as much of the canal bed as possible of rank grass and low shrubs, Secondary task was to clear the margins of the tow path to allow easy access by the large number of walkers who use that area on a weekend.
The bulk of the work was done using brush cutters, the only practical tool for the job. One of our number plus the Warden are qualified users by virtue of attending a formal course and by cascading our knowledge down we managed to increase the number of volunteers actively attacking the canal to five. This allowed us to clear a substantial area and provided much appreciated entertainment for the walkers passing by.
I’m sure that our newly initiated machine operatives are proud that they have added another skill to their conservation CV and I hope that a hot bath that evening relieved the unaccustomed strain which the machines put on back and sides.