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Public Meeting I0th August 2023


Community Support Grant: applications to 13 different councillors with responsibility for Gamston and Lady Bay have resulted in 700 pounds funding from 4 councillors.
Removal of Norfolk Reed: To be in undertaken by a series of work parties meeting on Sundays and Mondays). These will cover both the Gamston and Lady Bay stretches of the canal concentrating where reed coverage is most extensive. Now that we have a partnership agreement with CRT this gives us permission to work in water and use suitable implements provided training has been received.
An offer of a storage shed has been received from the allotment holders at Eltham Rd
Individual community gardens have been given additional green bins by RBC and it may be useful to approach them for a similar service to WeBCan.
Query whether reeds can be dried and used as biomass. Streetwise will remove waste but would charge 100 pounds per session. Alternative supplier in Meadow Lane is cheaper than Streetwise. Can reeds be shredded? - this would require a free-standing shredder which WeBCan does not currently have
Under the terms of the CRT partnership agreement, it would be useful for voluntary work to serve an educational purpose for scouts, school groups etc (tie in with wildlife survey?)
There is scope for fund raising through applications for grants, appeals and social events.
WeBCan organisational structure

Chair Penny
Treasurer, Website Ruth
Secretary Kathleen
Fund raising Marek
Wildlife survey: Sue Mallender
Other positions volunteers needed

Relationship with Grantham Canal Society ( GCS)
Complete agreement as to aims. GCS provided much valued support and commitment for clearance works earlier this year. However, GCS is responsible for the whole of the Grantham canal and cannot focus all its energies on the Gamston and Lady Bay sections. GCS now plans to repair the culvert at Fishponds which should improve links to the Grantham reservoir and potentially improve water flow to Gamston and Lady Bay. Continue to maintain close working relationship Rob Cook & Gary Dykes.
Holme Pierrepont Kayak Group have boats and have expressed an interest in helping to clear our section of the canal. PA to contact them.
GCS have offered to remove shopping trolleys in water at the bridge opposite Morrisons and to cut trees once a month.

Next steps
Simply pulling up reeds will not sort the problem of fluctuating water levels in the Lady Bay and Gamston sections of the canal. Replacement of Norfolk reed with bur-reed could be helpful. An alternative solution would be to install a black plastic membrane which would prevent the reed roots accessing the silt and deprives them of nutrition. Further information is required to determine whether or not there are environmental hazards to this approach and what would be the impact on wildlife.
PG asked the question “What do we want the canal to be?” is it a wildlife reserve or a mini river? Is there scope for different approaches on different stretches of the canal? For further discussion at the next meeting.
GCS is seeking to meet the groundsman at Cotgrave Golf Course to discuss access to their water supply to feed into the Gamston and Lady Bay sections of the canal.
Questions were asked as to what action is being taken with regard to the willow tree at the northern end of Lady Bay section of the canal. Is this still seen as a potential cause of water loss? What will happen to the water level in the Lady Bay section of the canal when the Environment Agency clear the entrance to their section of the canal.
Historically some canals had a plughole. Is there one in the Lady Bay section of the canal? Can this be established from historic records?
Date of next meeting: to be determined.

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