WORK parties have been busy at the section of the Cromford Canal at Lower Hartshay, which is owned by the Friends of Cromford Canal.
A further 400 whips of hawthorn and blackthorn were planted to continue the process of creating a new hedge, 400 having been planted last year.
During the last week of April, eight children from Ambergate School went to Lower Hartshay, Derbyshire with their teachers and planted 100 whips.
Despite someone deciding to remove plastic shields from some of last year’s plantings there is now plenty of growth coming through. The whips are sourced from the Woodland Trust.
Water vole were sighted earlier this year on the adjacent section of canal owned by the Canal & River Trust. They were once a very regular sight on this section but a sewage spill into the canal a few years ago is thought to be the reason for their disappearance.
FCC funded a delivery of dry coir rolls to High Peak Junction in mid-April and some were used immediately between Aqueduct Cottage and Gregory’s tunnel to re-enforce an area of the towpath edge that was showing signs of erosion and possible leakage.
Further work will have to be conducted, but not until the nesting season is over. The coir rolls have been a success over the years, with the first batch delivered in 2016 for locations along the length from Lawn Bridge, Cromford, to High Peak Junction. Following further deliveries a total of 1km has been laid and is now fully established.
At Sawmills, near Ambergate, work has been taking place on the stone bridge to replace coping stones which have been missing for a long time from the structure. The bridge was built by the Midland Railway in the 1840s.
Master mason Robert Shacklock had sourced the correct stone, which he brought to size and finished them off to look similar to the originals still in situ.
The team first had to unload the blocks and place them in position on the bridge. From lunchtime onwards the FCC team of volunteers did the lime mortaring to finish off the job. The finished repair looks good.
This complements the work last year on the rebuild of the canal wall at Waterloo Farm, on the original line of the canal just across the road from the bridge. The wall was originally built in 1794 and was part of a bridge.
Thanks go to Lockwood’s Haulage, Ambergate, for its support for this project.