Uttoxeter Canal - February update

I'll begin this month with a request for help from any of you living in the Uttoxeter area (or indeed those who pass by on the A50.) A bid has been submitted by our colleagues at Inland Waterways Association and if we are successful will help us to jointly run the second Waterway Recovery Group family camp at Crumpwood in June. Please vote for us if you do any shopping at either of the Tescos stores in Uttoxeter (the Tesco Superstore and the Tesco Express on New Road) any time until the end of this month.

Our January work party, held between Crumpwood and Alton, cleared and burned a huge amount of vegetation cut back before Christmas by volunteers from the Trust and Waterway Recovery Group. This section is in water but has lots of trees both in and beside it. It is also right next to the former Churnet Valley railway line so is well used by walkers, cyclists and horse riders. We are clearing the canal so that passers-by can more easily picture how it might look if it was opened up again.

Tree clearance near Crumpwood 11-01-2018
Bonfire next to the canal during the January work party. Photo Steve Wood

This Thursday, 8th February, we will continuing to clear out this section of the canal, with the aim of opening up views all the way to Bridge 70. As before the work will involve cutting up and moving tree branches and other vegetation, and burning these on a bonfire.

Please meet at 9.30am at Denstone Village Hall, College Rd, Denstone, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire ST14 5HR for a lift to site, or on site at 10am having made your own way on foot from Alton or Denstone. The site is a little over a mile from either village. All tools and equipment will be provided. Volunteers are advised to wear old clothes, stout shoes and to bring waterproofs in case of rain and a packed lunch if staying all day. It is helpful to know if you are intending to be there as I can then advise of any late changes of plan.

I've been asked to share the dates of work parties over the next few months so that people can put them into their diary. We meet on the second Thursday of each month, so 8th March, 12th April and 10th May will be the next dates. We have still not been able to organise reinstating the Saturday work parties, though I know that a number of volunteers are keen for us to do this. Unfortunately it is difficult for me to commit to lead at weekends as I have other commitments, but if anyone fancies stepping forward to take this role on, please do let me know.

Finally a very quick update on the new mileposts mentioned last month. We were told this week that the casting process is now under way, so we may have photos for you to see next month.

Best regards
Steve Wood