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ENews 2010-03

25 February 2010 


Hello and welcome to ENews 2010-03. The headlines today:

Pipe up the water, or build a lake
Building a trip boat – ice cream with flake?
Extract from newsletter, shows where we are
See the canal, from above and afar. 
300 Club poplar, John uses technology 
Is someone out there, keen on ecology? 
B+E drivers, we are looking for 
Ol Brock the badger, causing uproar.  
Stroud Farmers Market, in two weeks time 
Launch of new website, all pristine and prime. 
Logs cutting down, back in the Autumn,
Still not too late, if you wish youd bought em!



You may be aware that Thames Water is planning to build a new reservoir in the Abingdon area to help secure future water supplies for the south east. This would involve flooding something like 5,000 acres of farmland to provide capacity of some 100 million tonnes of water.

There is an alternative that we have heard of before, namely a water transfer scheme from the Severn to the Thames. A group called Group Against Reservoir Development (GARD) has been formed to promote this scheme and they have an informative website at  One of two proposed routes would involve a pipeline following the route of the Cotswold Canals, the other would take a route over the Cotswolds behind Cheltenham to follow the line of the River Coln.

A Public Enquiry is set to take place in June. Hopefully there will be a decision one way or the other.

I assume GARD is fully aware of the plans to restore the Cotswold Canals and  is not thinking that they have found a nice derelict canal that would make an ideal route for a pipeline.



Plans for a new trip boat to operate at Blunder Lock, Eastington got off the drawing board recently at the Western Depot, just round the corner. With a bit of luck and a following wind she will be ready for launching by the 1st May.

The concept is to operate at weekends and Bank Holidays from early May until the end of October with ice creams on sale and possibly some other attractions too.

It is early days yet and I expect information regarding the nature of the operation, crewing etc will become clearer in due course.



This is the title of Stroud District Councils internal electronic newsletter, sorry to say I received a copy just after the last issue of ENews left the presses. The January edition contained a whole section on the restoration, providing a good summary of the story so far – and the February issue is also out there.

Given the length of the tomes they are too long for reproduction in our ENews. So a new page has been set up on the Partnership website (which is well worth a look in its own right anyway), to view go to and follow the Project Updates link.



How do you fancy viewing the Thames & Severn Canal and the Stroudwater Navigation from the air? That is the wonderful first prize on offer (amongst others) at the Barn Dance and raffle on the 27th March.

The venue is Whitminster Village Hall, as last time, where there is a cash bar from 19:30. Music will be provided by Puzzlejug ( and tickets at £10 per person are proving popular. They are available from the Heritage Centre Saul or from Anna Watts, phone 07976 617983 or 07800 581167, I suggest you get hold of yours at the earliest opportunity.



There has been a terrific response from CCT members wishing to join the Three Hundred Club quarterly lottery. 

In the first couple of weeks since the CCT quarterly magazine The Trow (posted free to all CCT members!) dropped on doormats, John Carter has received well over 130 applications. 

As you can imagine this has kept him out of mischief for a while. For those planning to join in then please remember that the standing order option is the simplest way to ensure that you never miss an opportunity to win a prize. But if you still like and prefer to send a regular cheque then please ensure it is payable to Cotswold Canals Trust.

Contact details for John can be found in the Trow.



Trust Director Nigel Brooke-Smith tells me that he is about to embark on some voluntary ecology surveys over the coming months along the pound from Spine Road bridge to Cerney Wick.

He will be on the lookout for badgers, (I could show him where to find some of these, see story below) voles and newts and would really appreciate an ecologist and/or an enthusiastic volunteer coming forward to help share the workload.

Please contact Nigel for further information – or 01453 872586.



Fancy driving the CCT Land Rover and Roadshow trailer towards the end of May?

We need to get the kit to and from this years Crick Boat Show & Waterways Festival for what is usually a highly successful and prestigious event.

If you feel able to help, or would like to know about what is involved, please contact Roadshow Manager Mike Slade or telephone 01179 693270 after 19:00 please.



Yet another delay to the start of the Upper Mills Bridge project, this time thanks to Brock the Badger (and friends, no doubt).

It has been ascertained that what was considered to be a defunct badger sett on site is in fact still active. Brock could not have put in an appearance at a more inopportune time or in a more inappropriate place as the law says one cannot:

– use very heavy machinery (generally tracked vehicles) within 30 m of any entrance to an active sett
– use light machinery (generally wheeled vehicles), particularly for any digging operations, within 20 m of any entrance to an active sett
– undertake light work such as hand digging, scrub clearance or tree work within 10 m of an active sett

Ho hum. I suppose we could always consider raising funds by opening a book on the next reason for a delay. 


Our ever popular and well received attendances at Stroud Farmers Market start again on the 13th March and continue thereafter on the second Saturday of each month. There is further information about what is involved in this primarily morning activity by having a look at the Connect Message Board,

You will notice a slight change to the roster this year – there is just one covering the whole season. This will provide you with the opportunity for multiple choice volunteering as it were and at the same time make it easier for Roadshow Manager Mike Slade to monitor staffing levels.   

Mike would be delighted to hear from you if you would like to discuss this before adding your name to the roster, his contact details are as above.



Watch out soon for exciting news about the launch of our brand new all singing all dancing CCT website!

Elements of it will be in ongoing development for some while but having had a peek behind the scenes I can tell you that the new look and feel to the site brings it into the 21st ce

There will be several new features, one of which will be the formation of TNT or The Newslink Team. The concept behind this is to streamline both news gathering and news dissemination covering all our current communications routes, namely ENews, the Trow, newsflashes on the website and Press Releases to the local media. 

So you could say it will be launched with a bang.



The logs project that was launched last November has gone really well and has definitely improved the fitness levels of those of us of mature years.

With the coming of spring (yes, allegedly) meaning the birds and bees are becoming active, the operation will be wound down by the end of March.

But as a certain Mr Schwarzenegger was rumoured to have said – I will be back. In the autumn.

There is still time to place an order in readiness for next winter though; further details (and testimonials) appear at

Deliveries take place on Monday and Wednesday afternoons and there are vacant slots on the 22nd, 24th, 29th and 31st March at the moment.  



For further information and contact details about items marked* please go to the Message Boards on the Activities and Rosters page at 
If you wish to become a registered volunteer just follow the Register Me Now link.
*Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:00am: Maintenance activity at Western Depot
*Saturdays from 9:00am: Plant restoration work parties
*Weekdays and Weekends: Scrub clearance Cerney Wick area.


*28th: Work Party Griffins Mill Lock area (Work Parties Saul – Daneway Message Board)


1st: Western Branch monthly meeting at Fromebridge Mill, Whitminster 19:30. All welcome
*6th: Saul trip boat training day
*7th: Work Party Summit level
*13th: Stroud Farmers' Market
17th: Eastern Branch monthly meeting at Trout Inn, Lechlade 19:30. All welcome
*21st: Work Party Ryeford area 
*23rd: Work Action Group meeting, Heritage Centre Saul (Volunteer Activity Programme Message Board)
*27th/28th: London Waterway Recovery Group (LWRG) at Eisey Lock, CCT volunteers welcome
*28th: (1) Work Party Summit level
*28th: (2) Lechlade trip boat training afternoon
*31st: Lechlade trip boat training afternoon


5th: Western Branch meeting, Fromebridge Mill Whitminster from 19:30. All welcome
*10th: Stroud Farmers' Market
*10th/11th: Kent & East Sussex Canal Restoration Group (KESCRG) at Eisey Lock, CCT volunteers welcome 
*11th: Work Party Summit level Work Parties Summit Level
*18th: Work Party Griffins Mill Lock area (Work Parties Saul-Daneway Message Board)
21st: Eastern Branch meeting The Trout Inn Lechlade from 19:30. All welcome
*27th: Work Action Group meeting, Crown Inn Cerney Wick


The primary objective of ENews is to keep members, volunteers and subscribers up to date with what is happening within the Cotswold Canals Trust as a whole.

Any and all feedback is more than welcome.

If you have any newsworthy items you would like to be considered for inclusion please let me know at but please remember there should always be a connection with the Stroudwater, the Thames & Severn or the CCT – however tenuous.

David Pagett
Editor, ENews
The Cotswold Canals Trust – Registered Charity No: 269721.
44 Black Jack Street, Cirencester, Glos GL7 2AA.  
Company Registered in England No: 01207787.
Registered Office: Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1NZ