February 2016 Work Parties

Cheshire Locks Painting
Created on 17/03/2016

Photo: IWA Staffs & South Cheshire - painting at Cheshire Locks - Lock 43

February has been a cold and sometimes wet month - however our hardy volunteers have been braving the weather and undertaking essential winter work before the spring.  Read on to find out what our volunteers have been up to:

New Red Bull Memorial Garden Starting To Take Shape

Seven willing volunteers from IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch joined the February work party on the Cheshire Locks on the Trent & Mersey Canal and contributed 40 hours of work. The day started cold but bright so the team spent the morning continuing to develop the memorial garden at Red Bull wharf by preparing the ground for seeding later in the year.

By afternoon the sun had dried some of the metalwork at Lock 43 so part of the team continued painting the railings there. It was the first time since October that the weather had allowed painting!
Cheshire Locks Feb 2016Photo:Cheshire Locks - Red Bull Memorial Garden

Wendover Arm Gets Make-Over

IWA Chiltern Branch volunteers turned out to support the Wendover Arm Trust and Canal & River Trust on a bright cold day to undertake reed clearance from a section of the Wendover Arm which had become completely choked with vegetation. Happily the CRT workboat had been along the stretch of canal the previous week and cut down much of the midchannel reeds. The task of the volunteers was to pull out edge-side vegetation to stop it from rerooting and also from blocking areas downstream. The turnout was very good with 14 volunteers from a variety of sources – Tring Anglers, Wendover Arm Trust, CRT and IWA volunteers were in attendance plus a couple of local residents who had heard about the work party. By the end of the day a huge amount of vegetation had been pulled from the cut and the water through this section now has a good, uninterrupted flow. Small craft such as row boats and canoes will be able to enjoy this part of the Wendover Arm again thanks to the efforts of the volunteers.
The following day the work location was at Tringford Pumphouse on the Wendover Arm and much of the vegetation was cleared from around the building in preparation for the engineering works due to commence in June 2016.
Wendover Arm Reed CuttingPhoto: Pulling out reeds on the Wendover Arm

Offside Vegetation Clearance at Stourton Junction

IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch have been continuing their efforts on the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal and the work party on 10th February saw their volunteers, with the assistance of a CRT work boat, clearing trees and vegetation from the offside. The Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal and Stourbridge Canal meet at Stourton Junction, part of the Stourport Ring, a navigable waterway popular with narrowboat holidaymakers.

More Boat Mooring for Eldonian Festival Now Available

IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch volunteers have been busy in Liverpool, with work continuing around Eldonian Village in preparation for the IWA National Campaign Festival in June. The area at the top of Stanley Locks, known as Muspratt's wharf, needed to be cleared of vegetation to enable visiting boats to moor. With a bit of determination, and a canalside café lunch in them, it's amazing the difference five volunteers can make in an afternoon. What was once an impenetrable tangle of trees, saplings, brush and brambles is now a usable wharf.
Meanwhile the Branch's volunteers were also out in Chester, rounding up neighbours to undertake a couple of impromptu litter picks along the canal and also some time was spent cutting back overhanging vegetation.
Stanley LocksPhoto: Cutting Back Vegetation at Stanley Locks

Peterborough Branch Prepare for Easter Cruise

IWA Peterborough Branch continued their successful winter run of work parties on the Forty Foot Drain, part of the Middle Level Navigations. They have been steadily cutting back overhanging branches and vegetation from Horseways Lock on the side managed by the Middle Level Commissioners. This stretch of the Drain is in water and clear of vegetation to allow boats to moor next to the impressively deep Horseways Lock. The Branch intends to cruise to Horseways Lock on their annual Easter Cruise which will entail pairing up stern to stern before entering the channel. In the autumn work parties will resume on the Forty Foot Drain and it is hoped this work will encourage the Environment Agency to review its position on the currently closed Welches Dam.
Horseways LockPhoto: Peterborough Branch cutting back vegetation at Horseways Lock

West Country Put in the Hours

IWA West Country Branch volunteers have been busy throughout February with the Branch holding a total of six separate work parties contributing a massive 180 volunteer hours. Work included litter picking at Frenchpool Weir in Taunton on the River Tone Navigation, hedgelaying at Bathpool Marina on the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal and assisting with the removal and replacement of lock gate walkways on the Bridgwater Docks flood gates.

In addition to these work parties, in February, IWA Lincolnshire Branch supported the Sleaford Navigation Trust, IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch worked on the Burslem Arm and Congleton. IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch supported Worcester Birmingham & Droitwich Canals Society at their monthly work party weekend at Tardebigge Lime Kilns, IWA Manchester Branch held their monthly work party and IWA Northampton Branch held their twice monthly work parties on the Northampton Arm.

Interested in getting involved as a volunteer with IWA? Take a look at IWA's information on volunteering.  To see if there's a work party planned near you take a look at the IWA Events Calendar.

Tags: IWA Work Parties, Things to Do