Cotswold Canals Trust at Westonbirt Arboretum

Trust volunteers timber working expertise exhibited

The Cotswold Canals Trust recently exhibited hand crafted timber lock equipment and commemorative seating at Westonbirt Arboretum’s August Bank Holiday Treefest. 

These unique fabrications have been created by Trust members from recycled hardwood.

Hard & Heavy

The timber used to construct the jackposts and benches is Greenheart (Chlorocardium rodiei) a valuable South American timber tree of the laurel family.

A large tree, it grows to a height of 40 metres (130 feet) and is native to the Guianas. Greenheart wood, which is both strong and dense, is used chiefly in Europe for underwater applications, such as pilings for docks and wharves.

Its excessive weight makes it largely unfit for other purposes.

The timber being used by the Trust was previoulsy installed in Portland Harbour some thirty years ago. Years of wear from heavy shipping necessitated its recent replacement.

The salvaged timber has been given a second life as a mounting for lock paddle gear on recently restored locks at Wallbridge and Ryeford.

(Click here to see an earlier report)

Skilful volunteers

Trust volunteers have also crafted the same timber into canal-side seating.

The benches are available to the public to commemorate events or people dear to them and for organisations to demonstrate their support for the restoration.

Economic solutions

Trust Engineering Director Jim White commented…

“The restoration of the Stroudwater & Thames & Severn Canal constantly calls upon innovation and lateral thinking to produce long-lasting and economic restoration solutions.

“With a membership of over 7,000 people the Trust is able to call upon its volunteer’s knowledge, expertise and practical skills to put those solutions into practice.

"We found we had enough of this incredibly durable timber to manufacture canal side benches to be sold to raise funds for the restoration."

Ready for full production

CCT Trading Company Chairman Clive Field explained…“Two benches have already been installed at Wallbridge. We are now ready to go into full production.

"Every bench can be supplied with an etched zinc plaque. The laser etching process used to produce the plaques allows for the inclusion of detailed company logos or even freehand drawn designs."

Benches cost £750 including a plaque. All proceeds will go towards the restoration.

The bench ordered by the Campaign to Protect Rural England will be installed on the towpath at The Ocean near Stonehouse. Call in at The Cotswold Canals Trust Visitor Centre at Wallbridge Lock to see the installed benches and discuss your requirements.

Click herefor a printable information sheet.