A report from Jon Pontefract – Pictures by Ken Bailey
Undaunted by the change from British Summer Time volunteers continue to carry out towpath and channel clearance work on the approaches to Eisey Lock. This project, previously carried out on warm summer Thursday evenings, now takes place once a month on Sundays.
On 27th November twenty three Cotswold Canals Trust volunteers attended the Sunday Session. The group included ‘first timers’ as well as five qualified chainsaw operators and two mini digger drivers.
The tasks carried out by this impressive gathering, together with the work carried out by the summer Thursdays team, has moved the project 1.1 kilometres westwards to reach the road to Eisey Manor and the site of the demolished Eisey Bridge.
A number of self-seeded ash and willow trees have been felled and swathes of elder and blackthorn cleared to re-open the towpath and clear the canal bed for the first time since the canal closed in the 1920s.
The team used the CCT mini digger (a Kubota demonstrator on loan from Molson) to pull tree stumps out of the towpath and then level the surface. The felled timber was cut and stacked to await delivery to the Cotswold Canal Trust log sales operations at the Eastern and Western Depots.
Land Owner Involvement
This project has been carried out with the agreement of the land agent representing The Clarke Trust which owns this section of canal.
The eventual goal is the site of the aqueduct that once carried the canal channel across Ampney Brook. It is hoped that the cleared towpath will enable public access through the creation of a permissive path towards Eisey Lock.
The WRGIES are coming!
Volunteers from Waterway Recovery Group’s BITM – ‘bit in the middle’ team are coming to Eisey and Inglesham on the weekend of 10/11 December. They will be removing some of the remaining tree stumps. They will also continue with the canal bed and towpath clearance.
The next CCT work party is scheduled for a Sunday towards the end of January 2012. To join in and enjoy some exercise with a purpose why not register your interest and availability on the Trust Volunteer Management system.