Operation Dammit June 18th 2023
Dammit working party
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.