Working Party Updates
Monday Evening Volunteering Sessions
During July & August we have an hour long Monday evening volunteering session at 6pm to clear some of the canal of detritus and reeds. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Paul Able via his email: firstname.lastname@example.org. or call him on 07973 169820
Bore Hole & PV May 2023
A plan has been drawn up to possibly sink a borehole to draw off water from underground and pump it into the canal. To do this we had to find a suitable area. Janice Kerry at Eltham Road Allotments was approached to see if she was agreeable.
Janice couldn't have been more helpful and totally supports WeBCan and the work we are doing to maintain the wellbeing of the canal. Our thanks go to Paul Able for pursuing this avenue and to Janice Kerry for her enthusiasm.
Culvert Clearance! May 2023
A stalwart of WeBCan, Paul Able has been regularly measuring the depth of the canal at various points. Worryingly, he has found the depth of water in the pound by the Twitchell in Lady Bay has decreased much more than anywhere else. Undeterred, Paul asked if anyone could supply him with rods to try and clear the blockage.
Thanks to Rob Cook from GCS he was supplied with the equipment and managed to unblock the offending culvert.
It appears someone had placed rockery stone, logs and even a coat inside it. Ours is not to reason why!
Dam Demolition! July 2023
WebCan committee meeting decided that the dam should now be dismantled as the Canal and Rivers Trust has apparently sent somebody to investigate the willow tree.
A magnificent job was done by our dam demolition team and reed pullers. Thanks Jo & David, Sue & Richard, Ruth, Howard, Rob, Pam and Jezz, Les and anyone I’ve forgot. Everyone is welcome to join in with more reed-pulling tomorrow, Monday, meeting at the Rutland Rd stores culvert 6.30-7.30pm. If you can’t make this Monday, put it in your diary for future Mondays at this time till the end of August.
Duckling Barrier April 2023
We recently heard that Chicks falling over the weir by the footpath 4b. Obviously, we wanted to make sure they were safe so we set about finding a solution to the problem. Hugh Crawford, Rob Cook & myself installed a floating barrier and secured it as best we could. Thankfully, the chicks were kept safe until such time that the barrier could be removed.
Gamston Pt 2 Bridge 4b at Swindale Close
Boy, this is a tough area to clear by hand. We entered the water all togged up to find ourselves struggling with the depth of silt. Some (me included) had to give up as it proved too much. However, the guys did an amazing job cutting at the overgrown bushes and trees that have been blocking the canal for quite some time.
We were unable to finish the work in the time allowed, so we now plan a revisit next Monday to tackle the remaining branches. It is already looking so much better.
Mon 24th July Tool Testing
Work party testing tools for Norfolk Reed clearance in Gamston, south of Bridge No. 5. We found that long-handled pruning saws, long-handled cordless hedge cutters and sharpened hoes work best. Thanks to (from left to right) Ruth, Chris, Geoff, Pam, Catherine, Chris, and David.
Monday 3rd July & Wednesday 5th July 2023
On Monday we had another successful session of reed pulling in the evening. Our thanks go to Margaret Malkin, Chris Harries, David Clark and Hugh Crawford for their hard work. It's certainly looking lots better!
On Wednesday Paul Able, Hugh Crawford & Ruth Kerry met with members of the Canal & River Trust to discuss adopting the canal. When this has been achieved, Canal and Rivers Trust will assign us a partnership manager who will then be able to approve our plans in a timely way. As we chatted we couldn't help noticing the swans enjoying the newly cleared patch before climbing out and crossing Rutland Road to visit their other favourite spot on Ropsley Crescent.
We are going to delay further reed-pulling until the partnership and our method statement has been signed off.
So, this coming Monday evening, 10th July, we will be tidying up the area by the Rutland Rd Stores without going in the water. We aim to rake out reed which is still in the water, and better disperse, hide, or carry away the large piles which are currently lying on the bank. We will also be picking up and clearing visible rubbish which can be reached from the canal bank. The actual work time should be no longer than half an hour.
Operation Dammit June 18th 2023
On Sunday 18th June 12 supporters of WebCan donned their wellies and waders to enable much- needed investigate work around a magnificent willow tree behind 20, Rutland Rd.
Our public meeting, attended by 50 people, in the Poppy and Pint on the previous Thursday (15th June) voted overwhelmingly in favour of repairing the leaks in the Northern section of the canal, starting with the area under the willow tree behind 20 Rutland Rd.
In the short term, we need to enable an arborist and other canal experts to examine the roots of the willow tree and the integrity of the canal lining over the next few weeks.
However, the weather forecasts suggested a period of heavy imminent heavy rain, during which time the canal could fill with water and the opportunity for the arborist and other experts to do their investigation would be lost, or made much more difficult: we need to avoid having to drain this section to allow this work to take place.
Project Dammit was launched to block the water from covering the area from where it finishes now just ahead of the willow tree behind 20 Rutland Rd, to the northern culvert.
If we also wanted to have the canal lining repaired to stop the leaks in this area, it will be much easier to do so while the silt is relatively dry, than it would be if the water was let back in. So, we planned to build an earth dam where the log was situated:
The plan was to make the dam from sacks from filled silt. Once in place, this would create a barrier sufficient to keep the water back until the leaks under the tree could be investigated by the Canal and Rivers Trust and, hopefully, a new impermeable lining could be put into place.
Despite it being Father’s Day, WebCan supporters responded to the urgency of the situation, and formed a work-party to create this "silt bag barrier" bringing with them shovels, wellingtons and bags of enthusiasm. 20 old hessian sacks were kindly supplied by Faye Hawkins of 200 Degrees Coffee.
Saturday 16th September - Joint Working Party with Grantham Canal Society & Friends of the Lady Bay/ West End Volunteers headed up by Verity Butler
A fruitful morning spent working along side The Grantham Canal Society Volunteers was had this Saturday. As the GCS have all the heavy equipment, they are able to tackle jobs which WeBCan are unable to do and this meant the removal of several trees which had self seeded. WeBCan along with West End Volunteers got busy in the water and on the canal bank, clearing reeds and brambles. A lovely lunch and a few pints of squash and soda were had at the Poppy & Pint for some of afterwards too!
Sept 9th Working Party
A very hot Saturday morning (around 30 degrees) saw an impressive performance from our 8 volunteers. (Thank you all).
We started at the Twitchell working to create a channel through very dense reeds. Hard work in the deep mud, but we were very pleased to get through to about half way in the first heavy blockage. Hopefully we can get more people out next week and restore a clear channel in our canal.
Good to discover that the life jackets trigger when they get wet.😂
Grantham Canal Society along with Verity from Grantham Canal West End Group Volunteers were also working down on Lock 1. Lot of tidying up of the lock entrance, weeding and painting. As ever, we are so very grateful for everything being done on our stretch of the canal.
Check out our other posts and if you’ve ever considered getting involved, why not bite the bullet and come along to one of our working parties. You can do as little or as much as is suitable to/for your health and wellbeing.