Fringe Box



Richard’s Wey April 2017

Published on: 16 Apr, 2017
Updated on: 15 Apr, 2017

national-trustThe latest report from Richard Cant, the Stoke lengthman on the River Wey Navigations

There were still a few “winter” jobs left to do at the beginning of March, but there was definitely a feel of spring in the air.

I began the month working with the Wey Navigation Conservation Volunteers to remove some leaning trees and clear some scrub at Dapdune Wharf in Guildford.

This was not only important to get done before our visitor centre opened later in the month but also before we got too far into nesting season.

As it was we had to be careful to inspect each tree/area of scrub before carrying out any work so as not to disturb any early nesting birds.

Thankfully we have a very competent and considerate group of volunteers so we managed to get all the necessary work done and tidied away with minimal disturbance to wildlife.

Spring at Millmead Lock, pictured by Derek Croucher.

As I write this Dapdune is now open to the public for the summer, so do go along and enjoy a boat trip and maybe even an ice cream.

As I said previously, spring definitely felt like it had arrived in March, mainly because I started mowing the locksides at Stoke and Bowers again after the dormant winter season.

Depending on the weather this will now be a fortnightly(ish) job until around November time, luckily I like the smell of cut grass and there is a certain satisfaction in a neatly cut lock.

However, every year I forget just how big an area of grass there is at both Stoke and Bowers; all I know is that it definitely involves enough walking up and down to keep me fit.

Another major task that needs doing each year before the boating season begins is painting the locks, including balance beams, winding gear, bridges and the ever so fiddly white line around the lock chamber.

Again I was lucky to have the help of my regular volunteers when painting Stoke, so with the weather on our side we had it completed in a couple of days.

Of course there is still Bowers Lock for us to do and as I find every year, good painting weather is also good boating weather so if you are out using the navigation in the next few weeks please do be careful and watch out for wet paint signs!

That just leaves me to say that spring is a fantastic time to be out on the river with everything feeling fresh and new, so do come out and enjoy the lighter evenings and warmer weather and say hello if you see me out working on my length.

Richard Cant

Stoke Lengthsman

07786 703 832

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