Team leader’s report
Team Leader Les Morris provided this report on the land based silt removal project, east of Stroud.
All this work has been carried out by Volunteers.
The tools for the job
Stroud District Council contributed £50,000 to the project.
This investment allowed Stroud Valleys Canal Co. (SVCC) to purchase three essential pieces of equipment.
- A modified Fiat/Kobelco E135 14 Tonne excavator with a 14 metre reach.
Five volunteers, all with previous experience of operating excavators, underwent specialised training on the long-reach machine as it handles very differently to a standard excavator.
- A standard Fiat/Hitatchi EX135 13 Tonne excavator
- A laser levelling device that transmits a beam to a sensor on the excavator to ensure the correct depth is achieved
Ham Mill Lock to Stanton’s Bridge
Several thousand tonnes of silt were cleared from the pound between Ham Mill Lock and Griffin Mill Lock in 2016.
SVCC purchased the strip of land on the offside of the canal, between the canal and the railway.
This space also provides a repository for the removed material.
A causeway made of ‘bog-mats’ was constructed to give access for the machines to operate from the offside.
Stanton’s Bridge to Griffin Mill Lock
In 2017 the team moved on to the pound between Stanton’s Bridge and Griffin Mill Lock.
The owner of the land on the offside kindly permitted access to the field and permitted the deposit of silt on the land.
Team work & environmental awareness
With assistance from chain saw operators from Western Depot, some trees were removed from the offside bank to enable work to progress.
The silt removal project was timed to start after the end of the bird nesting season.
Another bog-mat causeway was constructed to give access for plant and machinery to the offside.
The EX135 excavator prepared a level platform alongside the canal from which the long-reach excavator could operate safely.
The first stage has been to remove the reeds and vegetation from the canal bed and then to dredge to the required depth of 1.5 metres below final water level.
See more silt removal pictures
(Our next report will be an update on the waterborne dredging being carried out west of Stroud)