Issue date: 17th September 2013
A successful work party was held by IWA Oxfordshire Branch on Sunday 1st September, when twenty people gathered at the Oxford Canal’s Hythe Bridge Arm for a day’s volunteering.
After a health and safety induction, work commenced in the 'pocket park' at the end of the arm adjacent to Hythe Bridge Street, including litter picking, vegetation clearance, pulling rubbish out of the canal and painting the balance beams of the capstan sculpture. Other volunteers litter picked and cleared some overhanging vegetation along the towpath of the arm. Meanwhile at Isis Lock, another team of volunteers painted the railings near the lock whilst others weeded and cleared the lockside of litter and leaf debris.
Despite concerns about parking when planning the event, it wasn’t, in the end, a problem with all the volunteers opting to arrive by either foot, boat, train, bicycle, motorbike, or on the park and ride bus.
The end of the arm was a spot to be tackled with Orange Balsam, an invasive plant that crowds out native species, being removed as well as a variety of rubbish. Amongst the rotting vegetation and general litter there was a bicycle, in full working order as one of the party demonstrated by riding it around the grassy area.