Fringe Box



Richard’s Wey May 2015

Published on: 10 May, 2015
Updated on: 10 May, 2015

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

The combination of brighter evenings, warmer weather and the bank holidays/school holidays mean that people are ready to get out and enjoy the river, and it’s really nice to see boaters enjoying the navigation as it makes all our hard work feel worthwhile.

The warmer weather has meant that I have been predominantly mowing locksides and strimming vegetation, but I’ve also had the chance to paint the bollards on my visitor moorings, as well as the old irrigation sluice between the Woking Road and Ladymead.

I found this well camouflaged mallard's nest with 12 eggs in only 3ft from the towpath.

I found this well camouflaged mallard’s nest with 12 eggs in only 3ft from the towpath.

I also spent a day with one of my volunteers shovelling silt that had been deposited around the bollards by flood water. This was hard work but pure determination meant that we finished it in one long day. Now the mooring looks much more inviting for passing boats and hopefully will get plenty of use over the summer months.

I’ve always said that I enjoy the variety and unpredictability of my role as a lengthsman and this month I had one of my weirdest tasks, rescuing a pigeon!

This started with a phone call from Guildford Borough Council after a report from a concerned member of the public about a pigeon trapped in the netting on Bridge Street bridge. After liaising with the RSPCA, who were already on site, I assisted with one of our workboats and in no time at all we had cut the pigeon free, which was thankfully unharmed by the ordeal.

I’m sure you will have heard about the tragedy at Clandon Park, when on April 29 a fire devastated the main house. Members of staff from the River Wey and other local properties rushed to the scene to help with the salvage efforts.

Even though events like this are very rare, staff at our mansion houses are trained for such events on how to rescue as many important items as possible.

Our role was help wrap and move salvaged items to a safe and secure location, but all praise must go to the fire and rescue service for their professionalism in not only fighting the fire but also in salvaging some of the irreplaceable items in the collection at Clandon.

An appeal has been launched to raise funds for Clandon Park; if you would like to donate please go to

Richard Cant

Stoke Lengthsman

07786 703 832

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