As the sun continues to beat down on the scorched grass I seem to be continually asked “so if the grass isn’t growing do you just get to put your feet up?” Well actually this summer
feels just as busy as any other, even without the mowing to keep on top of! Somehow the
plants that we’re less keen on still seem to be able to thrive in these desert-like temperatures, so I’ve still been out pulling Himalayan Balsam before it goes to seed and snipping off those pesky long brambles that threaten to jump out and scratch you as you navigate the towpath. The trees along the towpath have also been growing heavy with leaf and even fruit (I’m thinking of the Walnut Trees that give Walnut Tree Close its name) so these need some careful pruning to keep everywhere clear and open.
One of my biggest tasks recently has been to help organise our annual steam boating event Puffing-A-Wey, which sees the Steam Boat Association of Great Britain visiting Dapdune Wharf to show off their stunning array of craft. It was a great day, even if our visitor numbers were down slightly on previous years (presumably because people didn’t fancy climbing on board next to a hot boiler when it was already 30 o C outside). The day was finished off with a treat for our volunteers as we had arranged a boat ride and BBQ for them as a way of saying thank you for all their help throughout the year.
We did have a brief respite from the heatwave in the form of a weekend of wet and windy
weather. The rain did mean we had to tweak the weirs slightly to maintain correct levels,
although it doesn’t seem to have made much of a difference long term as the weirs are all
closed back in again. The wind however did seem to have more of an impact with a number of trees and branches being brought down by the strong gusts which get caught by the leaves at this time of year. Luckily I got a (mechanical) helping hand with some of the trees on my length in the form of our floating excavator “Hoe”. Operated by our maintenance team, they were due to come and give me a hand removing a very large rotten log from the river that had soaked up so much water that it was extremely heavy. However due to their good timing they not only removed the original log but also two fallen Alder trees and a pile of cuttings I’d left piled on the towpath. With very limited access on the property for vehicles or machinery I’m used to doing everything by hand, so this was a welcome treat that saved a lot of time and effort.
If you also take into account the litter picking, hedge cutting, and strimming fishing swims
and moorings it’s been a busy month, even without the mowing!
07786 703 832
All news is submitted by members of the BCA - get in touch here to contribute!