Most of our volunteering work over the winter has been our offside vegetation removal on the Coventry Canal, but our first general volunteering of the year was back at the Brindley Bank Aqueduct area of the Trent and Mersey Canal in Rugeley.
Our volunteers had a good morning clearing the area of litter, overhanging and encroaching vegetation, leaves on the steps and strimming the site. Working together, we also dismantled a section of wooden fencing that was falling over and serves no useful purpose. We were supported in this by Canal and River Trust who provided all equipment and supervision – and one of their direct volunteers.
The day before the work party Derek and I had a walk around the site and thought there wasn’t much litter. How wrong could we be? Whilst there wasn’t much obvious litter along the paths, further back there was plenty, with the remains of an encampment across the canal including a tent, mattress and chair, a hoard of bottles, and loads of metal that had been ‘magnet fished’ and then left lying around. Our best haul though was an intact small safe, which CRT later delivered to the police.
We have a new CRT Volunteer Supervisor (Beth) who was both friendly, efficient and helpful. We haven’t had this CRT support for many months so hopefully we will be able to get our volunteering activities back on track as the year continues.