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North Walsham and Dilham Canal Trust, Work Parties 

Work Parties are now organised directly by the North Walsham and Dilham Canal Trust but still fully supported by EAWA.

LATEST WORK PARTY NEWS

The next NWDC Trust Work Party is:

Date Venue Time OS Grid RefAug 2015 Work Party Ebridge

Sunday

21 February 2016

 Between Pigneys Wood and Swafield

To:  remove brash/detritus from along the canal bank.

     Parking is between the Butchers and JW Hall -





09.30

PostCode
NR28 0RQ
Future Programme
TBA

Any comments please do call David on 01603 738648 or email on davgis@live.co.uk

Work site locations may be found on the map in the Ipswich IWA Website - Ipswich Restorations
For last minute information - please phone work party organisers:
David Revill on 01603 738648
Or Chris Black on 01508 492025

Watch the new film on the North Walsham and Dilham Canal

Previous Work Party Reports (2008 - 2013) See just how much has been achieved.    Subsequent reports are now on the NWDC Trust website

Briggate Mill Pond

10 Nov 2013

Swafield Lock

27 Oct 2013.


West Bank of canal
near to Paston Way
13 Oct 2013.

West Bank of canal
near to Paston Way
15 Sep 2013.

Bacton Wood Site

1 Sep 2013.


Royston Bridge

11 Aug 2013.


Ebridge.

28 July 2013.



Swafield Locks.

30th June 2013.


Canal Bank
by Pygneys Wood.

16th June 2013.


Canal Bank
by Pygneys Wood.

2nd June 2013.


Swafield locks.

19th May. 2013.


Swafield locks.

5th May. 2013.


Honing Lock Area.

21st Apr. 2013.


Honing Staithe Cut.

7th Apr. 2013.


Briggate Mill Pond.

24rd Mar. 2013.


Royston Bridge.

3rd Mar. 2013.


Bacton Wood Lock.

17rd Feb. 2013.


Bacton Wood Lock.

3rd Feb. 2013.


Bacton Wood Lock.

13 Jan. 2013.


Work Parties

2012


Work Parties

2011


Work Parties

2010


Work Parties

2009


Work Parties

2008


NORTH WALSHAM & DILHAM CANAL TRUST

Work Party at Briggate Mill Pond

Sunday 10th November 2013

Report from NWDCT Work Party Organiser, David Revill

Note that reports reproduced here are from the Trust's own website here

THE PLAN

Having had a site meeting with the owner and discussed what was required to be done, to tackle the task here, on this the first Work Party of this session.

 WORK ACHIEVEMENT

The weather was forecast to be fine during the day but it started off in a pretty damp mood. However, by the time that we were all assembled on site the sun had started to shine and so it stayed for the remainder of the day. Following the usual H&S and general briefing of the situation, we split into little groups and attended to our tasks. Of the nine volunteers who turned up, six finished the day on a high note. Each group was briefed on what was to be done bearing in mind the requirement for leaving certain areas as 'wild' for the benefit of the natural processes during winter. Further measurements were taken of the telegraph poles lying there waiting to be installed as braces to the lock chamber walls, as the dimensions are not as those originally used for the calculations by the IWA Engineer. 

I had previously discussed with the volunteers as to whether they wished to observe the Remembrance Silence at 11.00 and said that I wished all machines to be switched off at the time. 100% were positive about the silence and I duly sounded a whistle at the correct times. 

The pill box was cleared of the few weeds growing into the concrete roof and the total area around it, down to the waters' edge, cleared of tall vegetation growth - except in the area of the original entrance of the River Ant into the mill pond. This area to be left wild. With a wonderful machine, driven by Kevin, the appropriate area of the Chamber Island was reduced to a low stubble. Kevin skilfully drove around the special tall grass specimen, leaving it standing proud! 

Following a picnic luncheon taken in sunshine on the Chamber Island, the work continued with the clearing of a lot of the tall reeds growing alongside the access strip lying parallel and adjacent to the public road. Some of the weeds and reeds were taken out of the Pond by our Alan, but enough is enough and he had to stop for the day, to be continued at our next meeting here. A large quantity of the reeds growing in the canal at the mouth of the lock were removed and also some excessive growth on the bank at the entrance to the Pond. We had all departed the site before 15.10 after a most enjoyable and fulfilling day of outside exercise! 

Several of the local residents had come by and said how pleased they were that we were working again to restore the pond to the state in which we left it earlier in the year.

My thanks again go to all who attended or helped in any other way towards this work party.

 


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NORTH WALSHAM & DILHAM CANAL TRUST
In co-operation with the East Anglian Waterways Association

Work Party Swafield Lock.

Sunday 27 October, 2013

Report from: D Revill, Trustee and EAWA.

What another splendid day! Weather was good (ain’t it always?) and things just went from good to better. At the end one could very easily see where we had been. There is of course another bonus to removing this overhead cover....that is that come the spring there is a chance that the small wild flowers will start to re-colonise this area because they can now receive some valuable sunlight! And we all know that flowers sustain other parts of nature...one thing depends on another. Every little helps!

I am hoping to be able to put together a work programme for the last couple of months of this year by the end of next week. ‘Thank you’, goes out to you all for your support in whatever way you help.

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NORTH WALSHAM & DILHAM CANAL TRUST
In co-operation with the East Anglian Waterways Association

Work Party near to Paston Way canal crossing.

Sunday 13 October 2013

Report from: D Revill, Trustee and EAWA.
THE PLAN. To meet the owner of this part of the canal and shred brash from previous occasions.

WORK ACHIEVEMENT. The weather forecast for the day was diabolical! On the morning it rained quite heavily and there was a storm south of Norwich. However, it was a work party day and therefore the weather would be bearable!
And so it turned out to be with only a couple of light showers (not even noticeable apart from seeing the splashes in the canal) until the end when the heavens did open! The five volunteers met at the Pill Box and then moved on to the site where we had been on a couple of occasions before.

The sun shone for part of the time and we got started in clearing up the site in readiness for the return of LA with his shredder. Once that arrived it took about 40 minutes to make a big impression in one of the banks of brash from the previous work party.

After partaking of lunch, sat on some logs at the side of the path, we finished off shredding the first piles and then concentrated on continuing to clear away an earlier fallen tree near to the canal bank. The water level in the canal was quite considerably higher on this day than it was three weeks ago. In fact, during the 5.5 hours only, that we were on site, the water level rose by some 16 inches! This is not surprising as the canal at this point had not been cleared for nearly two years.
Local residents explained that the Environment Agency used to clear this part of the canal from Swafield Bridge downstream, but had not done so lately! We noticed that some logs which had been stashed well up on the bankside before, started to float downstream before they were rescued by our intrepid waterman, Alan.

By the end of the day, and we left site initially at about 15.35, all of the lighter brash had been cleared and shredded, leaving some of the heavier timber piled in heaps. Several visitors came our way and congratulated us and the cause for doing a grand job and hoped that before long they would be able to take a canoe, at least, through this area. The effect of the rising water was felt when attempting to get the shredder back to the Pill Box area. In a hollow along the canal bank, the water had risen by well over a foot since we arrived and because of this and the weight of the shredder, it became stuck. Attempts to free her were only partly successful due to the state of the ground….to be retrieved later! Chris arrived home at 19.00. Thanks and well done Chris!

You may have noticed the heading of this report? The work parties are now under the control and heading of the Trust, having taken over from the EAWA. The WPO is, for the time-being, still the same, however!

My thanks to those stalwarts who came out on a weather-unpredictable day to make a great advancement.

The next work party will be on Sunday October 27th, meeting up at the Pill Box once more.

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In Co-operation with the North Walsham & Dilham Canal Trust

Work Party near to Paston Way canal crossing.

Sunday 22 September 2013.

Report from: David Revill, EAWA. Work Party Leader.
THE PLAN. To continue with the work, as shown to be done by the owner of this part of the canal on the previous work party here on 01 September 2013.

WORK ACHIEVEMENT. We met up at the arranged place at 09.30 and following the briefing, proceeded to the site – the lucky ones by vehicle and others by foot!

By the time that the foot sloggers had arrived, we had the first trunk of the multi trunked tree lying on the ground, leaving two more to bring down. It will be noted that the first three parts from this tree root had been brought down at the previous work party.
The weather was to be of the finest combination for this, or any other time of year, being pleasantly warm with just a touch of cooling breeze after the lunch break. Some said that it was actually ‘hot’ at times although our intrepid Alan may have thought otherwise as he spent a lot of his time moving about in the canal – and the canal moving about in his waders! The canal at this pound is, however, totally blocked by reeds and other growth in the water with the main North Walsham Town Drain issuing into it adjacent to the wooden foot bridge crossing over the canal below the removed railway bridge site.

Several walkers, some being taken out by their dogs, passed us as we worked or ate our lunch and all said that we were doing a great job. Most people are looking forward to seeing unrestricted water flowing along the canal once more. Just after our lunch-break, a local farmer came along to have a chat with me and he explained that he was upset, amongst other things, by the amount of rubbish that came down into the canal through the town drain. I thanked him for his comments and added that there must be a great deal of sand, small stones and other debris from the streets also coming down the drain and adding to the blocking of the canal.

To finish the day, we cleared two small sets of saplings growing out of the water/lower bank on the opposite side of the canal. The brash from these was brought across to be shredded later by the owner and some of the sturdier pieces being left to act as habitat for small creatures in the winter months.
All eight of the volunteers departed from site at 15.00 after a most enjoyable day out. As always, my sincere thanks to all who came along to carry out the work, achieve the plan and making it quite a special day.

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In Co-operation with the North Walsham & Dilham Canal Trust

Work Party at Bacton Wood Lock site.

Sunday 1 September 2013.

Bacton Wood Site. Boat Trial.

Pigney's Wood West Bank Work Party.

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In Co-operation with the North Walsham & Dilham Canal Trust

Work Party at Royston Bridge.

Sunday 11 August 2013.

Report from: David Revill, EAWA. Work Party Leader.
THE PLAN. To meet up with the owner and discuss what was needed to be removed from the top of the canal bank on the town side (WEST) of the canal.

WORK ACHIEVEMENT. Meeting with LA at the usual parking slot, we discussed the requirements for the day. As is usually planned, the weather turned out to be very good to us and with 7 volunteers on site we drove up along the west bank to the specified area. Here we found several clumps of bushes and saplings dotted along the top of the bank – albeit well-spaced apart.
The first turned out to quite reluctant to give in but with determination and skill(?) we all persevered until there was a great heap on the side of the track comprising of brambles (dead and alive), stinging nettles with some other plant life and at the heart of all was the elderberry tree. This morning showed a great change in the proceedings as we stopped…..for a coffee break! Never heard of before in the annals of Working Parties on this canal! I must be getting ‘sorft’ in my old age?

Shortly after we recommenced working LA appeared with his chipping machine, when we placed the worst heap into the horizontal hopper and watched it coming out of the ‘chimney duct’ as well sized chips.

Lunch was taken on the spot in beautiful weather before we carried on with the task. With four volunteers helping to place the brash into the machine, the others moved on ahead to tackle the next targets.
The system worked very well and before we were aware of it, we were at the big bend on the canal opposite to Pigneys Wood. We all finally left site at 15.45 wondering at the long length of canal bank running straight as a dye to Royston Bridge in the distance. Another work party will be held here to complete the work and the date of this will be made known at a later date.

There is a slight change to the arrangements for the next work party on 1 september is that we meet at the Bacton Wood Lock site at the slightly later time of 10.00 for a very interesting variation on a theme.

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In Co-operation with the North Walsham & Dilham Canal Trust

Work Party at Ebridge.

Date : Sunday 30th July 2013.

Report from: David Revill, EAWA. Work Party Leader.
THE PLAN. To liaise with the owner and carry out any works which he deemed fit for the day; to assist in the Open Day at the Chamber Island being held by the Trust.

WORK ACHIEVEMENT. Once again the weather was great and not, on this occasion, too hot to make it uncomfortable. A total of 15 volunteers turned up which is very gratifying indeed! True to say that most were employed in providing information to, and assisting, the general public who had come to the event, but some did take up the task and some grass was cut and more importantly, a lot of Himalayan Balsam was cleared away. As is well known, this Balsam is an invading plant into this country and if not checked and removed, will at the appropriate time, explode its’ seed pod and strew the contents over a great area, them being carried even further by both wind and water flow. The plant will eventually take over the waters’ edges and other areas to the exclusion of other national plants.

I was the last to leave site at approximately 17.30 after a great day out in the countryside beside a wonderful stretch of water, teeming with renewed wild-life and vigour, thoroughly enjoyed by the many visitors both on land and on the water.

I am now able to work on the new Work Party Programme for the remainder of this year and will communicate this to you at the earliest opportunity, once it is confirmed by the Canal Owners.

Thank you to all who came and took part on this Sunday – particularly pleasing in the comments received from all those taking an interest in our work, both past and in the future.

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In Co-operation with the North Walsham & Dilham Canal Trust

Work Party at Swafield Locks.

Date : Sunday 30th June 2013.

Report from: David Revill, EAWA. Work Party Leader.
THE PLAN. THE PLAN. To liaise with the owner and basically clean up the lock chamber walls and surrounds.

WORK ACHIEVEMENT. Albeit I was not present at this work party (away taking part in other waterways events) the weather was very good indeed. What else?
Here is the report from our Chris Black who stood in for me.

We arrived at approx. 09.15 on a very warm morning. Beverly and David were already there and Beverly was being shown around the locks as it was her first visit to the site. The rest of the work-party volunteers duly arrived making a grand total of 9 people. I gave the usual H&S briefing especially as we were working on the lock side. Not a drowning hazard but a long way to fall especially as some of the hidden brickwork on the edge was loose.

Starting from where we had previously removed ivy from the NE wall we gradually worked our way towards the upper end of the lock. Progress was relatively easy in parts but the Ivy roots were everywhere. One small tree was cut down by Mickey Starling and we eventually managed to remove it from the lock wall without damaging the brickwork. A very much larger tree was growing beside it but visual inspection indicated that it was not growing in the wall itself – much like the trees at Briggate. This tree and the roots will be removed by Mickey at a later date.
Care was taken to avoid any wildlife disruption but where toads and frogs were found they were removed to a safe place. As the day progressed the temperature rose but working in the trees made the heat bearable.

Lunch was taken at 12.30. We resumed work at approx. 13.00 and managed to clear the whole length of the lock wall. The spoil which was removed was used to level out the ‘pathway’ beside the lock. Mickey and Ann were really pleased with the progress as it has revealed the extent of the lock.
We ended the work-party at 16.00

Chris Black, acting work-party organiser.

Many thanks again Chris and all the other 8 who were on site. It certainly shows how progress can be made without damaging wildlife or nature in general.

Our next work party will be at Ebridge Lock Chamber on Sunday 28, the Event which the Trust will be holding there, so please do come along to help in any way that you can.

I shall be working on a new programme for the autumn in due course and I do regret the delay in getting this out to you. I’m sure that you all know the reasons.
Best wishes and take care

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In Co-operation with the North Walsham & Dilham Canal Trust

Work Party at Canal Bank by Pygneys Wood.

Date : Sunday 16th June 2013.

Report from: David Revill, EAWA. Work Party Leader.
THE PLAN. On this, the second visit to this site to check the possibility of reaching the old railway line bridge, along the easterly bank of the canal.

WORK ACHIEVEMENT. After being shown around the site earlier in the day by a trustee of the Pigneys Wood, I had a better appreciation of the overall area and its’ relation to the canal bank and railway track. This prepared me for the day’s plan, which was carefully explained to the other 8 volunteers when they arrived. As I attempt to provide the best possible weather for our Work Parties, the day did not disappoint, with good sunshine and warmth for the entire time on site! Some clouds did appear later, in the afternoon, but not to the detriment of the experience. The canal bank to the south of the access bridges to Pigneys Wood (across the backsoke) had been partly cleared by grass cutting by others (unknown). However, we had arranged to bring along the big mower to cut this path and so that task was carried out from Royston Bridge right up to the second, northerly access bridge. Together with the grass and other vegetation being cut along the path route, some overhanging saplings were also cut back so as not to be of nuisance to people using this public footpath. After a heavy days’ labour by Ivan and Alan, the footpath is now looking really great and clear for all to see at about 8-feet wide in most places. The northern side of the access bridges was a little more complicated, but careful and studious work resulted in our arrival, before lunch break, at the dried-up land drain running into the canal nearside of the final field before the railway bridge. Most of the timber encountered was dead and this, where necessary, was broken and stashed at one side or other of the opened area as a hide for birds or other creatures.

Before anything was either cut or broken, the structure was carefully examined for bird and other activity. Nothing was discovered during the course of this but one ground nest was later located in long grass and nettles and given a wide berth without disturbing the occupants. As it was not totally clear as to the location of the railway bridge, following lunch two of our more intrepid explorers set off along the railway track on the boundary of Pigneys Wood to approach the canal bank from the other end. It was also possible for them to report back on the state of the gas pipe crossing the canal and the height of the footbridge, as it was thought that the pipe was considered to be at a disadvantage height for navigation along the canal. ‘Not of concern’, was the report, as the pipe leaves some 12 feet of air draft under it. The small wooden foot bridge will naturally have to be replaced by one giving a greater air draft as it currently is quite close to the present water level. At the end of our labours, the newly opened walk along the bank was closed off at the access bridge end by using carefully laid pieces of timber from removed saplings. The site gate was closed and locked at 15.21.

My thanks as always to you, who came along and once more performed so splendidly to produce the desired results. Thanks also are due to Pigneys Wood for their co-operation, which meant a great deal.

I will advise soonest as to where the next work party will take place on Sunday 30th June.

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In Co-operation with the North Walsham & Dilham Canal Trust

Work Party at Canal Bank by Pygneys Wood.

Date : Sunday 2nd June 2013.

Report from: David Revill, EAWA. Work Party Leader.
THE PLAN. Having heard that the footpath was not passable, to check what was needed and remedy if possible.

WORK ACHIEVEMENT. The weather for the day was absolutely glorious – summer seemed to have arrived at long last.
Our group of 6 volunteers walked the path along the east bank of the canal, over the small bridge over the bank breach, passed the first entry bridge of the back-soke to Pygneys Wood and up to the second little bridge. It was here that we saw that the footpath ahead was completely blocked by tall greenery (grass, weeds etc.) and saplings.

Following the H&S briefing we inspected the grass for signs of any bird nesting activity. Finding none, the grass cutting commenced until we had gained access to the first saplings. These were carefully inspected, which in this case of sparse leaf coverage was relatively easy, for signs of birds. Again, none was found and so we continued, ever watchful for signs of wildlife.

A very welcome lunch was taken on the bank of the canal in wonderful sunshine and the bird-song became very evident. Very pleasant. The brash was piled on the side of the bank for future disposal – the thought of a fire was quickly discounted due to the nearby wide areas covered by dead reeds and other dry combustible materials. We all marched back from the site at 15.10, quite pleased with the efforts and looking forward to returning at a later date to continue with the task.

As it was so pretty on this site it has been decided to return there again on Sunday 16th June for another attack on the footpath. I am hoping that we shall be able to park a lot closer this time and I shall advise the meeting-up place in good time.

As some of you will be aware, there will be another get-together at Ebridge on Saturday and Sunday 27th and 28th July 2013. The Trustees of the North Walsham & Dilham Canal Trust have already made the plans and now would ask for help on the days to man the tents etc.. There will not be a working party that weekend, so please consider coming along and lending a hand.

North Norfolk Community Woodland Trust Pigneys Wood. The land which is now Pigneys Wood was purchased in October 1993 and is owned and managed by The North Norfolk Community Woodland Trust through a Board of Trustee/Directors supported by volunteers. The Trust is a registered charity whose aim is to create new community woodland in areas where woodland access is difficult.

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In Co-operation with the North Walsham & Dilham Canal Trust

Work Party at Swafield Locks.

Sunday 19th May. 2013

Report from: David Revill, EAWA. Work Party Leader.
THE PLAN. To liaise with the owner on site and carry out his wishes using our best experience.

WORK ACHIEVEMENT. The weather for the day was pretty good, unusual for this year, and the sunshine was quite warm when it was apparent!
With eight volunteers on site and after the usual briefings, we all happily set to, to the task. Barry took a heavy stripper along the eastern bank and cleared a large area of ground growth. With Matt being the Fire-master for the day, other members of this group committed the brash from today and our earlier visit to the fire and most of it was cleared.
On another part of this, the first downstream lock, the ivy and smaller trees were removed from the structure and placed onto piles for later removal. There still remain several other larger trees and stumps growing from the brick structure, which will require a little more than man-power to remove! This is believed to be in hand for a later date.

Now that part of the structure of this lower lock is visible, it is discovered that the brickwork is in a fairly good state, considering its' age and later usage. Lunch was taken in the adjacent field in the sunshine and our waistlines were further enhanced by some great baking from Anne of the Firm! Thank you Anne!

Work continued until we had all finally left the site by 16.00.
Thank you to all who came along today to this pretty site. We shall be back here again at some date in the not-too-distant future.

The next work party will be at the Wherry House (formerly the pub), Royston Bridge on Sunday 2 June starting at 09.30 as usual.

Alan is still AWOL so I am sending some photos again. This work party was again at the first lock at Swafield and we cleared several small trees and big ivy from the brickwork. Matt managed to burn the rest of the stuff from last time and Barry spent ages cutting back brash with a very heavy tool borrowed from Micky Starling.

Mary Black

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In Co-operation with the North Walsham & Dilham Canal Trust

Work Party at Swafield Locks.

Sunday 5th May. 2013

Report from: David Revill, EAWA. Work Party Leader.
THE PLAN. We had seen this site at the time of the Site Visit during the Public Appeal against the Stop Notice in November 2012. There are two locks here but they are not really visible due to heavy growth of trees, bushes and other plant life. Today was to liaise with the owner being present and do whatever was agreed.

WORK ACHIEVEMENT. I was to be away, on another part of the River Ant, for this day and therefore Chris Black was in charge of the party. Here is his report:-

Work-party Report, 5th May 2013

The day went well and although numbering seven volunteers we all enjoyed the experience of crawling over the derelict locks and a guided tour by Mickey Starling.
The weather was superb and fortunately the field was hard so we could take the cars down to the locks. We spent the first half hour or so chatting about his plans for the area and eventually set about clearing the banks in the section between the locks. He is keen to clear the trees from the locks and basically halt any further decline of the structures.

The locks are in surprisingly good condition but covered by years of ivy and brash. There are several trees growing in the bed of the locks and walls which Mickey is keen to get removed.
He has a friend who will remove the large trees which is probably for the best as they could be tricky to fell. Conscious of the time of year we kept a keen eye out for any nests in the trees and brash before removal.

By 12.00 we were all hot and feeling in need of a rest, so lunch was called. We resumed work about 3/4 hour later refreshed and ready to tackle the brash again. We didn't reach the upper lock as is quite a distance away so called time at 15.00, all very tired but glad to have made an impression on these forgotten structures.

Chris Black

Our 'professional' photographer is sunning himself in Portugal so in his absence I have taken some 'snaps'! It was very exciting to start work on a completely new section - the abandoned section which includes 2 locks.
It was a blisteringly hot day cutting down trees and feeding the bonfire and we gave up quite early in the afternoon.

Mary Black

Many thanks for that Chris and also to those who turned up to this unique site.

I was passing through on another part of the River Ant and witnessed that an enormous amount of damage and harm had been caused to the environment. One could see the damage but could not, obviously, see the harm.
The area of concern is between Ludham Bridge and the River Bure confluence. Quay headings, trees, bushes, plant-life and the river bank had been torn apart and the river dredged to make the useable part of the watercourse wider. Some of the bends have been made easier plus the bonus that with no trees, one can see over the bends for traffic navigating in the opposite direction. Poor voles! Poor birds! But that is progress, they say, and I’m sure many hundreds of people will appreciate it!

Our next work party will again be at Swafield with the arrangements as last time and I look forward to being there!

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In Co-operation with the North Walsham & Dilham Canal Trust

Work Party at Honing Lock Area.

Sunday 21st April, 2013

Report from: David Revill, EAWA. Work Party Leader.
THE PLAN. To check the permitted areas and carry out any remedial work deemed appropriate.

WORK ACHIEVEMENT. The weather was really first class with full sunshine and a light, though cold, breeze. The first task on arrival was to remove a fractured branch of a tree, dipping into the car park area. This done and the other 5 volunteers briefed on H&S and the work plan for the day, we set off towards the lock. It was noted that the grass between the two access bridges had not grown sufficiently to require cutting.
The triangle of vegetation between the backsoke and the chestnut fencing was left to grow for the benefit of wild life. The water level was noted to be very low indeed, showing large expanses of sticky mud. Some extending small branches from the bushes on the right hand side were cut back and all made to look tidy. The land adjacent to the EA Water Station was cleared of potential harming obstructions and strimmed to allow continued growth of grass to this small area.

Looking upstream from the bridge over the lock, a fallen willow tree was noted on the first bend in the canal. Whilst it was not intended to go to this area, four volunteers ventured along the western bank to investigate. The tree was found to be lying completely across the canal from bank to bank and its’ branches already pushing out tentative tendrils looking for the canal water and bed from which to obtain food and anchorage. There was already a 2 metre belt of debris upstream of this blockage. Mindful of the Riparian Owners responsibilities, as described in the Environmental Agency guide booklet “living on the edge”, the tree was successfully removed and the water flow restored.
Meanwhile two others went along the Public Footpath, to the south-west of the lock. Here some overhanging brambles were cut back to prevent users of the path being injured. Some 4 trees had either fallen or collapsed from the adjacent land, partially blocking the Public Footpath and the canal. These were all dealt with in the appropriate manner.


We do apologise, however, to the walking limbo dancers for perhaps spoiling some of their enjoyment? It was also noted that the protective chestnut fencing running beside the lock and adjacent to the Public Footpath, had collapsed at one section due to one of the supporting posts being fractured just above the ground level. Owing to the lack of correct tools we were unable to remedy this fault.
The volunteers left the site, warm and contented at 12.30.

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In Co-operation with the North Walsham & Dilham Canal Trust

Work Party at Honing Staithe Cut.

Sunday 7th April, 2013

Report from: David Revill, EAWA. Work Party Leader.
THE PLAN. To inspect the area and then decide on which actions to take.

WORK ACHIEVEMENT. There has not been an appreciable amount of natural growth since our last visit to this site and therefore the general area around the actual cut did not require anything but a general small tidy. Several small branches, having fallen from the overhanging trees were removed from the cut. The trees in general were inspected and some three or four will need to be checked on in the near future, but were deemed to be stable enough to remain for the time being, bearing in mind their locations.
Our attention was, however, drawn to the walk just beyond the small wooden bridge, where it transverses the woodland. This is generally a damp and marshy area and is, even though there has not been too much rain recently, quite wet nearer to the bridge. To help to make the walk a little easier for the passers bye, more scraps of old lying trees were laid in between the outlining larger branches which delineate the walk. The lower ends of the water-sodden runs alongside this walk were encouraged to flow the more readily into the existing backsoke/land-drain.

A gentleman walking along Weavers Way, stopped adjacent to the old railway bridge and spoke with Chris and I. He currently lives in Great Yarmouth but walks in this area on a regular basis. He stated that he is now 90 years old and expressed his grateful thanks for what we had done for the canal, not only on this site but elsewhere along its’ length. He wondered when he would be able to see boats along it once more?

My thanks go to the total of five volunteers who turned out on this wonderful, sunny and nearly windless morning. A very pleasant time was had and the effects made were most rewarding.

Our next work party will be on Sunday 22nd April and at Honing Lock Area.

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In Co-operation with the North Walsham & Dilham Canal Trust

Work Party at Briggate and Royston Bridge.

Sunday 24th March, 2013

Report from: David Revill, EAWA. Work Party Leader.
THE PLAN. To carry out general tidying-up work before the start of the growing season. To check on the growth of the willow stumps just downstream of the road bridge.

WORK ACHIEVEMENT. With the weather being so unpredictable, the only two people on site were Chris and me!
The weather turned out to be clear and dry but with a very bitter wind. On looking around the site it was decided that not much, if anything, had grown since our last visit here and that it would be in the interests of safety that no work be carried out at the time.

We decided, therefore, to remove ourselves to the Royston Bridge area. The wind here was more vicious that at Briggate, due to the area being more exposed!
However, we journeyed up as far as the old breach in the canal bank and took measurements of the water courses there. We measured the width, depth and speed of the water in both the canal and the land drain before its’ confluence with the canal. All of this information is a requirement in calculating the amount of water flowing downstream towards the Bacton Wood Mill for its’ operation and for also for other purposes where this information is useful.

The next work party will be at Honing Staithe Cut on Sunday 7th April 2013 when the weather should be a whole lot better!

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In Co-operation with the North Walsham & Dilham Canal Trust

Work Party at Royston Bridge.

Sunday 3rd March, 2013

Report from: David Revill, EAWA. Work Party Leader.

THE PLAN. To assist the Old Canal Company in the removal of a dangerous, large tree growing adjacent to the Bacton Road and opposite the Wherry House.

WORK ACHIEVEMENT. On arriving at site it was found that the tree was already lying on the ground having come down earlier than planned. It therefore only required us to help in removing the resultant. In this case it required cutting up the larger trunks and branches and should they be of suitable composition, loading onto transport for removal from site. The smaller pieces of timber etc. (the brash) being burned on site.

A total of 12 (twelve) volunteers turned up for this work and the task was successfully completed. On leaving, the site was left in a very neat and tidy condition.

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In Co-operation with the North Walsham & Dilham Canal Trust

Work Party at Bacton Wood Lock.

Sunday 17th February, 2013

Report from: David Revill, EAWA. Work Party Leader.
THE PLAN. To continue clearance of downed trees and brash upstream of the lock.

WORK ACHIEVEMENT. The day started with freezing fog over most of the near region which did not seem to bode well for the rest of the day. However, by the time we had all accumulated at the work site, the temperature had risen somewhat and the fog dissipated.
There was initially no wind to speak of and it became a very pleasant day. A total of eleven volunteers turned up to carry out the clearance work. As soon as we had cleared one lot of trees, downed last year, the owner appeared with some more taken from the backsoke! It did seem to be a no-win situation but as time wore on the heaps became smaller and the fires had done their work.

Lunch break was taken in the added warmth of one of the fires as by this time a slight air movement had become apparent and it was of the lazy type! So onto the canal bed and beside the fire! I left shortly after lunch and the remainder of the party were still hard at work. A great change had taken place at the site and we were very grateful that the vegetation has not yet started to grow this year

.

The next work party will be as planned on Sunday 3rd March 2013 at Royston Bridge where Chris Black will be looking after you all. My thanks go to all who attended and carried on with this great movement!

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In Co-operation with the North Walsham & Dilham Canal Trust

Work Party at Bacton Wood Lock.

Sunday 3rd February, 2013

Report from: David Revill, EAWA. Work Party Leader.
THE PLAN. To liaise with the owner and generally continue clearing up the bank and dry canal bed near to the lock

. WORK ACHIEVEMENT. The weather was not cold and was dry all of the time that we were on site. There was a goodly breeze/wind which facilitated a brisk bonfire required to dispose of the brash generated by our labours.
Ten volunteers took part in this exercise, which albeit not as warm as the last, nevertheless was most enjoyable – to which the results testified. It is quite amazing that the wind just knows when you will be moving around a bonfire! The smoke ALWAYS follows one around! However, the job was done and by about 14.45 our work was basically over and we all prepared to leave site.

An interesting event, which failed to materialise, was the visit hoped for by Becky Betts of Radio Norfolks’ Treasure Quest. I had placed the Clue Nr 5 on the lock gate as agreed with the producer and was advised that the radio car should probably arrive between 11.00 and 11.30.
About 11.40, the ‘van’ went hurtling past the turn-off into the work area only to return some 8 minutes later. I just knew that their quest to get to the ‘treasure’ before 11.55 was doomed and so to help a little, I stood in the roadway and gave a friendly wave, as much as to say that, yes you are in the right area. I did get a friendly wave in return – but a foot then went on to the accelerator and the van disappeared out of the side road – never to be seen again!

The next Work Party on 17th February will take place as planned at Bacton Wood Lock area once again. Thank you to all who came along and helped, as always!

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In Co-operation with the North Walsham & Dilham Canal Trust

Work Party at Bacton Wood Lock.

Sunday 13th January, 2013

Report from: David Revill, EAWA. Work Party Leader.

THE PLAN. To liaise with the owner and make a start at clearing up the area just upstream of the lock.

WORK ACHIEVEMENT. Despite most of the volunteers experiencing snow falls on leaving home, we persevered and found the day to be very pleasant indeed with mostly clear blue skies, not that cold and more to the point – no more snow.
A total of eleven volunteers turned up and the clearance of a number of fallen trees beside the canal bank, some retrieved from the back-soke, began. It seemed that after a fairly short period of time that this initial task was completed with a good bonfire going to dispose of the lighter material and piles made of the more stocky timber, cut into reasonable sized lengths. What next!

There is an inordinate amount of builders waste lying around together with vegetation on the canal bank leading off to the inlet to the water-mill. Plastic bags and sheets were collected together for later disposal in the proper place.
A start was made on clearing saplings and other growth from the canal bank and mill inlet. All of this area will need to be cleared and reshaped before water required for the operation of the mill is restored to this artificial water channel.

Lunch was taken in the sunshine on the dry canal bed and what a relief it was to sit for a while in the warmth! At the end of the period we all felt that a good day had been had by all and leaving site at 15.00, we look forward to being back there again on 20th January 2013.

NOTE: CHANGE OF PROGRAMME! The work party on 20th January will be at Bacton Wood Lock and NOT at Royston Bridge.

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