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ENews 44

Hello & welcome to ENews No. 44.

Pictures of the flooding at Saul when the decision was made to cancel this year's Festival are at http://www.junctionevents.org.uk and http://www.cotswoldcanals.com/saul_floods/saul_floods.htm.

All boaters, campers and 'Folk on the Water' wristband purchasers will be contacted in due course on the subject of refunds. Meanwhile and on behalf of the Cotswold Canals Trust a huge thank you to those of you who have already contacted us asking us to treat your refund as a donation to the CCT.

If you would like to do the same please could you let me know?

No bad news in this one……unless you are ophiophobic of course……



The Heritage Centre at Saul will be open for business this weekend, and in addition there will be two – yes two – trip boats running on the Gloucester – Sharpness Canal! These will start operating at 12.30p.m. on Saturday and 10.00a.m. on Sunday.



It has been ascertained that there is a significant grass snake & slow worm population between Oil Mills Bridge & Ryeford Double Lock, so BW are looking for the less squeamish amongst us to help move them. This relocation is required in accordance with the Wildlife and Countryside Act, as the reptiles must be protected especially in view of the forthcoming canal channel excavation and bridge works, see next piece.

Richard Harrison at BW is looking for some reliable volunteers to turn out on one day per week in the early morning and late evening for an anticipated 1 1/2 hours each time. It needs to be fairly early and fairly late because if the temperature is not between 10 and 17 degrees C, which is 50 and 62 degrees F in English, then they will either be too cold to be mobile, or too warm and able to move somewhat faster than us.

The moving process will take about 8 weeks…ish. Given that the summer hols are nearly upon us an 8-week commitment may be somewhat onerous, so how about putting your name forward for just a week or two? Flexibility is the key here and I am sure Richard will be only too happy to arrange the schedule to fit in with your availability.

The 'work' will involve lifting pieces of felt, picking up whatever is underneath, placing same in a soft sack and carrying said sack further along the canal and beyond the reach of the diggers. There is such a thing as reptile fencing and this will be erected shortly to discourage them from moving back to their previous luxury quarters at Oil Mills. All training and suitable equipment will be provided by the Cotswold Canals Partnership.

You can register your interest with Richard by email Richard.Harrison@britishwaterways.co.uk or phone 01452 318501



The Cotswold Canals Partnership website – follow the 'What's Happening tab then the Oil Mills Bridge one – tells us that "Restoration work at Oil Mills through to Ryeford Locks will begin in mid August."

Is this the news we've all been waiting for? You decide! The full piece can be found at http://www.cotswoldcanalsproject.org/general.asp?pid=2&pgid=569



The Stroud Farmers' Market organisers have very kindly offered us the "Guest Stall" spot on Saturday 14th July, from 8.30a.m. until 2.00p.m. What an opportunity to meet the locals to discuss the restoration.

Further details appear on our Volunteer website at http://www.cct.teamconnect.org.uk or you can contact Mike Slade, Roadshow Manager on 07805 110080, email mr.mike.slade@googlemail.com



Mike has also secured a free mooring at this year's Bristol Harbour Festival that is taking place on the 27th & 28th July. The organisers claim a footfall of over 140,000 so the potential for us is phenomenal! Slightly unusual arrangements insofar as we shall have to set up and break down each day.

This is the ideal opportunity for those of you living in the Bristol area to come along and lend a hand! Once again there are further details on our Volunteer website or you can contact Mike direct.



Paul Barnett's next tour of the Purton hulks is scheduled for Sunday 8th July, meet at Lower Purton Bridge, i.e. the one nearest Sharpness, at 2.00p.m. Further details from Paul on 07833 143231 or email barnadillo@aol.com



The Cotswold Canals Partnership is running a Plant Identification and surveying skills session for volunteers on Thursday 26th July.

A professional plant specialist is coming to deliver the course which will be a combination of some classroom activity at Ebley Mill and some time out on the canal identifying and learning about the various aquatic plants along the waterway. The course will run from approximately 10am to 4.30pm, at no cost to volunteers and is open to all, regardless of any existing knowledge/experience.

If you are interested please contact Richard Harrison – details as above.



……that the next Western Branch meeting is on MONDAY 9TH JULY, this had already been re-scheduled by the time the Festival was cancelled. 7.30p.m. at Fromebridge Mill, Whitminster as usual.