Fringe Box



Richard’s Wey November 2019

Published on: 12 Nov, 2019
Updated on: 10 Nov, 2019

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

With more unsettled weather and a definite chill in the air, it really does feel like summer is over and autumn is here to stay.

Most markedly for me has been the increase in weir operations, with the wetter weather interspersed by dry spells meaning river levels were up and down like a yoyo.

Operating weirs is actually easier during prolonged wet spells than the continuous wet/dry we have experienced in the past few weeks, as it’s easier to understand what the water level is going to do and be ready for the changing levels.

The outcome being that I’ve spent a lot of time checking levels day and night, and a lot of interrupted work tasks where I had to drop what I was doing and shoot off to the weir.  Of course this can be frustrating but water level control must be a priority for me and it’s just one of the unique aspects of my job that I come to accept.

When not winding weirs I’ve been making the most of the slowing vegetation growth and have spent time, together with my volunteers, hedge-cutting the towpath and removing low branches so that they don’t droop down and block the path when they are laden with leaves next year.

Where possible we have reused the wood chippings produced to fill in muddy areas of the towpath, which has proved very popular with walkers and is completely sustainable.

Whilst on the subject of wood chipping, I would just like to say a special thank you to my volunteer Richard, who came out for an extra (and very long) day just to help me chip the piles of brash left behind by one of our other volunteer work parties near Godalming.

Piles of metal left on the towpath take time and money to dispose of and pose a hazard to the staff, volunteers and the public public.

Changing the subject from wood to metal, you may have noticed over recent months piles of metal appearing along the towpath which I have been trying to clear away as quickly as possible.

I suspect these piles are left behind by people “fishing” with magnets who are looking for valuable or interesting items.

Whilst it may seem like an innocent hobby, you do need the landowner’s permission which we tend not to grant as there could be disturbance to historical artefacts and unfortunately people have a tendency to leave behind any metal that they don’t want, which costs us to remove it.

The metal left behind can also pose a hazard to our staff and volunteers when using machinery, especially if it becomes hidden in vegetation.

Finally, I would just like to say that there is still time to enjoy the autumn colours here on the river, whether boating or walking it’s a fantastic place to see them. The misty mornings, watery sunsets and reflections on the water make it the perfect place to enjoy one of nature’s spectacles. Enjoy.


07786 703832

Share This Post

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *