Fringe Box



Richard’s Wey July 2017

Published on: 17 Jul, 2017
Updated on: 17 Jul, 2017

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

Apart from a bit of rain at the start of June, it’s been especially hot and dry for some time now.

This has been both a blessing and a curse; with the grass drying out on the locksides it’s needed mowing less often but the vegetation on the bankside still grows at pace due to the water from the river. The hot weather has also meant that I’ve been able to work freely without rushing off to the weirs, but then carrying out physical tasks in 30oC temperatures isn’t pleasant either. I’ve even had to start putting planks of wood on top of my weirs to maintain the water level as it drops off with the increased use of the locks, so fingers crossed for a little bit of rain in July to top things up.

As mentioned, the bankside vegetation is still growing at full speed, so I’ve been out strimming the banks at a 45o angle to keep the towpath clear while maintaining this important habitat. I’ve also been strimming fishing swims for the fishing season (which started again on June 15) and keeping visitor moorings cleared for any boats that wish to moor up.

Once the whole of my length was strimmed my volunteers, I seemed to have had a bit of breathing space to get on with some other of the summer tasks. This has meant pulling out the non-native invasive plant Himalayan balsam, removing low branches from the towpath that are weighted down with leaves, and painting some of the less obvious navigation structures such as the horse roller opposite Old Bucks weir.

I’ve also had a big push at clearing litter this month, with my volunteers and I clearing both the towpath and then the river by boat. To help us with the litter 1st Stoughton Scout Group came out one Friday evening to help clear the Guildford section, so a big thank you for all their help and I do hope they spread the word not to drop litter.

At the end of June were two of my events for the year, starting with the Solstice Walk which was advertised as “the longest day – the longest walk”.

This guided walk saw us walk the entire 20 miles of the navigation from Godalming to Weybridge in one day.

Even though June 21 was the hottest June day on record, we persevered and completed it with a great sense of achievement.

Just a few of the magnificent steam boats that attended this year’s Puffing-A-Wey event at Dapdune Wharf.

The other event was the annual steam boat gathering at Dapdune Wharf called Puffing-A-Wey.

Steam boats at Daphne Wharf along with one of the Wey Navigations’ electric launches (right).

Luckily the weather had cooled down considerably in time for the Steam Boat Association of Great Britain’s boats to arrive and it proved to be another popular and very enjoyable day.

Steam boat makes good progress along the waterway near Dapdune Wharf.

We even did a joint SBA and volunteer boat trip and barbecue in the evening to say thank you to our volunteers for all their continuing hard work, as without them we really couldn’t do everything that keeps the Wey Navigations so special.

Mooring up.

Richard Cant

07786 703 832

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