IWA's Waterway Recovery Group Bonfire Bash is a Roaring Success

IWA's Waterway Recovery Group Bonfire Bash is a Roaring Success

17 November 2015

On the 7th and 8th November, IWA's Waterway Recovery Group (WRG) held its annual Bonfire Bash Weekend on the Uttoxeter Canal. Over 80 WRG volunteers from across the country, joined by volunteers from Caldon and Uttoxeter Canals Trust carried out major vegetation clearance along the line of the old, but now very overgrown, towpath near to Alton and Crumpwood Weir.

Over the weekend WRG volunteers cleared quarter of a mile of towpath at Alton and it is hoped that this work will help the Trust establish a walking route along the length of the Uttoxeter Canal, utilising as much of the original towpath as possible. WRG’s specialist Forestry team also cleared larger trees at Alton and Crumpwood Weir, as well as removing debris from the weir itself.
George Rogers, Co-Leader for the weekend said “The 2015 Bonfire Bash was a roaring success, with over 80 eager volunteers working to clear stretches of the Uttoxeter Canal. It was a very enjoyable weekend catching up with friends old and new, and a huge thank you to all of the volunteers and the local trust for making the event so successful. I look forward to walking down the line of the canal without interference!”

Steve Wood, chair of CUCT’s Uttoxeter Canal Restoration Committee, is delighted with the outcome of the weekend, saying: “Thank you to all the WRG volunteers for doing such a great job; their enthusiasm and expert woodland management skills are amazing. More of the Uttoxeter Canal has been revealed and we can now assess how the original towpath can be used as part of our plans to create a walking route along the line of the canal through Churnet Valley. It will also help us look more closely at the parts of the canal that are still in water. We plan to talk to local communities and other groups in the Churnet Valley Living Landscape Partnership about how improving the canal environment for wildlife might also enable activities such as fishing or canoeing.”

The photos from the weekend can be viewed on the Bonfire Bash photo album.

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