Volunteers Clear the Way

Western Depot Logs Division – The Story So Far

The imminent commencement of construction of the canal through Capels Mill has been made possible by a small but extremely active team of Cotswold Canals Trust Volunteers. The team cleared the former rubbish tip of much bramble and self seeded tree growth. Hours of work produced piles of timber to be processed into tons of logs for conversion into thousands of pounds to assist in funding the restoration.

"The Logman" tells the story of this project's success in a characteristically arboreal style!

Seed Planting

It all started in November 2009. I was fortunate enough to be selected for a 5-day chainsaw training course that cost £650, paid by the Trust. I knew that by adding me to the (then) small pool of qualified chainsaw operatives I would “repay” the investment by being available on a regular basis.

A small but merry band of similarly determined Western Depot volunteers set about gathering wood from activities along the canal bank and preparing logs from this. Our first delivery was effected on Wednesday December 2nd; by the time we undertook our 14th delivery on the 23rd December we had raised sufficient to show a profit after covering the cost of the course…

Early Growth

Word spread and the orders started flowing in. 'The Eh? Team', as we had become known in view of our respective ages, soon developed a reputation for a friendly, efficient and prompt service.

Deliveries are undertaken on the two volunteering days at Western Depot and are fitted in amongst other duties. When we experience demand peaks there are always volunteers happy to come forward to undertake “extra curricular” deliveries on extra days, even weekends on a couple of occasions.

The delivery season runs from September/October through to the following Easter. Or thereabouts as, to misquote the well-known song from Oklahoma!, “I’m just a boy who can’t say no” if it involves raising funds for the restoration.

Maturity

The Eh? Team is now nearly 2½ years old and all founder members are still actively involved. It is safe to say that we really enjoy the sometimes strenuous workload because of the camaraderie, healthy exercise and the opportunity to raise significant funds by meeting people that Team Membership brings!

The whole of February 2012 has been taken up clearing the proposed route of the canal through the Capel’s Mill area of Stroud. There was much more wood generated by this exercise than we could have possibly anticipated.

All this will be cut, chopped, stored and delivered to customers over the coming months.

We have achieved around 250 log sales transactions of all kinds since we started and have raised approximately £23,000 – so far.

Many of these sales have been repeat orders and the Testimonials page of the Logs website page shows what our customers think of us and of the service we provide.

Branch Office

A Branch Office has recently opened at Eastern Depot, Latton so customers’ requirements in the east of the Trust’s catchment area can be more easily satisfied.

Felling?

Never! Certainly not until the Zimmer frames start kicking in, anyway…

 

 The pictures above show:

  • The Log Area in 2009
  • The Capels Mill Clearance
  • The Log Area in 2012
  • A fully trained & equipped member of 'The Eh? Team'

Click on the icons below to find out…

  1. How to get your Logs… or,
  2. How you can become a Volunteer