Fringe Box



Richard’s Wey June 2013

Published on: 16 Jul, 2013
Updated on: 16 Jul, 2013

Richard Cant, the Stoke lengthsman of the River Wey and Godalming Navigations.

The latest of our riverbank tales from the local Stoke lengthsman Richard Cant

June began with a very pleasant day out in the sunshine for the properties staff and volunteers to the Wey and Arun Canal Trusts visitor centre at Loxwood.

This may seem a little frivolous but it did give us all a chance to ask questions about the progress they are making on restoring the canal which will eventually rejoin into the Wey Navigation near Shalford and give us a link to the sea at Littlehampton.

This would be great news for us as it should increase boat traffic on the Wey so that more people get to experience the property. This trip also gave us a good chance to look at how the volunteers have worked to overcome challenges and for us to share our knowledge and experience with them as well.

Volunteers help to re-lay the towpath near Onslow Bridge in Guildford.

Volunteers spreading out aggregate to repair the towpath surface by the Onslow Street Bridge in Guildford.

After the gentle trip to Loxwood it was straight back down to some much more heavy going work, re-surfacing scoured sections of towpath in Guildford between Onslow Bridge and Dapdune Wharf.

Of course this was too bigger job to do by myself so I enlisted the help of the Catteshall Wednesday volunteer group who came out and helped me move and unload by hand a large barge known as a Deck Striker full of aggregate. We then spread the material out and consolidated it with a whacker plate. Thank you to everyone who helped with this very labour intensive task.

There was plenty of vegetation work to be done this month with the sunshine really bringing everything on after a colder than usual May. This has meant a lot of work mowing the towpath and locksides to keep them looking their best for all those using the navigation.

As well as grass cutting we also have to control non-native invasive plant species such as Himalayan balsam which has a pretty pink flower, but left unchecked spreads rapidly and out competes our native plants. To deal with this we had a week long “balsam bash” event to try and highlight the problem of this plant and encourage the public to join in and help us to control it by pulling it out of the ground.

As well as our regular volunteers we also had corporate volunteers come out and help us from Surrey County Council, so thank you to all those who got involved.

Richard Cant

Stoke Lengthsman

07786 703 832

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