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Wintertime tree maintenance

Waterway Recovery Group (Forestry Division) — In town and active

Seventeen volunteers from the Waterway Recovery Group arrived in Stroud on Friday 15th January to carry out essential maintenance work on canalside trees.

Accents from Sussex, Devon, Wiltshire and Herefordshire were to be heard at Brimscombe Port where the team camp out in a disused office block. 

The Job List

  • Strachans Close — Crack Willow & Plane Tree dead wood removal
  • Wallbridge Lower Lock — Waterside self- seeded Sycamore removal (Pictured right)
  • Chalford — Ash & willow pollarding
  • Ham Mill — Towpath side Crack Willow removal
  • Hope Mill — Canal bed Ash and Willow removal

Volunteers from all over England

Barry explained that his team have travelled from all over England to enjoy a holiday away from a wide range of day-jobs.

"The day-jobs they are enjoying time away from include banking, pharmacy, engineering, lorry driving and architectural planning."

Qualified volunteers

The Forestry Division volunteers are qualified in chainsaw and Tirfor winch operation. 

Two members of the group are specially trained tree climbers.

Local liaision

Cotswold Canals Trust Director Steve Pickover liaised with Barry in planning the job list. 

Steve comments…"The Waterway Recovery Group is an invaluable asset to the restoration of the Cotswold Canals. 

"Between February 2014 and September 2015 'WRG Forestry' put in 292 volunteer days on our restoration.

"If we had to buy in qualified chainsaw operatives, a conservative costing of £200 per day means those 292 volunteer days would have cost around £58,400!

"And the fact is, whilst these people are all volunteers they work to the highest levels of safety and professionalism." 

That fact has not gone unnoticed. Yesterday’s Cotswold Canals Restoration Facebook picture album taken by CCT photographer Mike Gallagher generated the following comment from Robert Winter of Abingdon… “So nice to see people professionally fitted out and doing a worthwhile professional job”

Logs for the Log Pile

Another benefit to the Cotswold Canals Trust is the weekend's work will mean that that the Trust's 'Log Sales' log pile is being replenished with wood for splitting, sawing and delivery to the wood burners of Gloucestershire.