Volunteers drain 'dry' canal near Oswestry before restoration work
Volunteers had to drain water from a 'dry' canal before their restoration work.
The Shropshire Union Canal Society arrived at the weekend working party to find the canal bed at Crickheath south of Oswestry almost full of water after exceptional rainfall.
Fred Barrett from the society said: "This resulted in a massive pumping operation to get the channel into a state where work there could begin. A narrow boat could easily have floated in this section."
Despite the difficult conditions the volunteers made considerable progress, Mr Barrett said, with 20 metres of the bed of the channel at Crickheath was scraped out below the actual depth to allow a specialist fabric blanket to be put down.
This was then covered with stone and sprinkled with cement to stabilise it.
"It means heavy machines can work there, so that a land drain, can be installed. This land drain will be essential to ensure that work can begin promptly when the monthly working parties are scheduled."
He said the weekend saw the arrival of seven new volunteers from Openreach and Arcadis. Employees of the ompanies can opt for a days’ volunteer activity as part of their In- service Training Programmes.
"We were more than grateful for their attendance. Working in small groups, they were responsible for removing a considerable distance of redundant newt fencing, and replacing worn fabric fencing with proprietary rigid plastic sheet material.2
Volunteers also erected a 150 metre stock fence was along the offside bank.
The next work party will take place from December 6 -8. New volunteers area always welcome with details on the Shropshire Union Canal Society web site.