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Richard’s Wey September 2013

Published on: 6 Oct, 2013
Updated on: 6 Oct, 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

On the River Wey Navigations we run events all year round such as guided walks and themed days to help people enjoy the property in a different way.

However, for me September saw my final event of the year, The Cream Tea Totter Two.  This is a repeat of an event I did in May where I lead a guided walk along the towpath to Bowers Lock, followed by cream teas on the lockside and a boat trip back.

The only difference this time was that the weather was perfect for picnic blankets and watching the world go by, whereas back in May we were hiding from the cold and rain under a gazebo as back then spring had not yet sprung.

If you would like to find out more about our events go to our website .

Visitors enjoying themselves on the lockside at Bowers as part of the Cream Tea Totter event.

Visitors enjoying themselves on the lockside at Bowers as part of the Cream Tea Totter event.

September saw some rather pleasant warm and dry spells which has meant that the grass is still growing and keeping me busy, although there is definitely an autumnal feel in the air.

The dry weather allowed me the chance to go along the navigation and finish off our programme of Japanese knotweed treatment for the year.  Some of you may remember that I was doing the same thing back in July and you’ll be pleased to hear that on this second treatment I found that many of the sites had already completely died off.

Ordinarily, we try not to use herbicides, and always aim to use as little chemical as possible, but withan aggressive plant like this there is little option. We also work within strict guidelines keeping clear records, using trained staff and getting the necessary consents from the Environment Agency and Natural England.

Short, sharp rain showers punctuated the drier weather which meant I had to control the water levels on my section of the river.  I do this by operating the weirs day and night to speed up or slow down flow rates, maintaining a constant water level.  This is important to keep enough water so that boats can travel and wildlife is not adversely affected; weirs are also used for flood alleviation.

After a nice dry summer it was quite a shock to be back doing this important part task as it does become a 24-hour responsibility.  However, with the winter rain just around the corner, it was actually quite a nice gentle way of getting back into the routine of weir operations!

Richard Cant

Tel: 07786 703 832

Email: richard.cant@nationaltrust.org.uk

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