IWA’s Waterway Recovery Group held its Annual Reunion Weekend – Bonfire Bash – on the Lichfield Canal on Novmeber 3-4.
Over 70 WRG volunteers from across the country, joined by volunteers from the Lichfield & Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust, carried out several large-scale restoration jobs, including vegetation clearance along the line of the canal, hedge-laying and building a retaining wall. Altogether, volunteers spent a staggering 1120 hours restoring the canal over the weekend!
Using chainsaws, brush cutters, bow saws and loppers… along with some brute force and determination, volunteers removed trees, stumps and brambles from the canal bed. Along the existing towpath, a number of volunteers took to hedge-laying an over mature hedgerow to improve Fosseway Heath Nature Reserve for wildlife.
The Fosseway Lane section covers a distance of just over a half-mile through locks 18 and 19 from Fosseway Lane to the new Lichfield southern bypass, Falkland Road. A new route is needed from this point because of building on the original line through the city.
Peter Buck Engineering Director said, “The weekend was a great success and much was achieved to give a significant boost to the canal restoration work carried out by our own regular Trust volunteers. The goal of fully opening the South Heritage Towpath Trail through the Wetlands Boardwalk for the community moves ever closer. We thank all the volunteers who put in so much effort and we look forward to the next visit of the WRG volunteers and friends in the New Year.”
Alex Melson, Assistant Leader for the Weekend said, “The Reunion was a great success thanks to all the hard work by the WRG volunteers and the Lichfield & Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust. It was great to catch up with so many volunteers from the summer, as well as meeting new faces. It was a really rewarding weekend and it is really worthwhile project to support.”