May is always a busy month, as not only is the grass and other vegetation growing at its quickest but there are also two bank holidays to get ready for. The increased boat traffic of the long weekends means that it is particularly important to have the locksides neatly mown and the visitor moorings strimmed. This is a great chance for me to really take pride in my length and show it off to the best of my ability, the increased visitor numbers also make the hard work really feel worthwhile.
As I previously mentioned it’s not just the grass that’s growing quickly at the moment - the bankside vegetation is also shooting up. Mowing the towpath with the ride-on mower just isn’t enough to keep the path feeling pleasant and open, whilst maintaining the views of the river. This is why I have been out strimming a 45 o angle on the vegetation to stop it falling into the path and blocking access. We call this our summer cutback which will need doing every 4 weeks throughout the summer months until we clear the banks completely for the winter.
As well as the heavy mowing and strimming this month, I’ve also had chance to get on with a few of the smaller jobs. These have included cleaning vegetation from lock gates, sweeping steps and edging the grass around the locksides. It is these detail jobs that really make the difference to keeping the waterway looking its best. Some jobs such as cleaning the lock gates are also essential maintenance, as roots from plants growing between the planks can cause a lot of damage over time.
Finally, you may have noticed by now that the section of towpath between Ladymead and the Woking Road has been fenced off and closed. This is so that essential maintenance and re-surfacing work can be carried out safely, and eventually will provide a natural but user friendly section of towpath for everyone to use. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, but please do observe the warning signs and follow the diversion routes so that everyone stays safe.
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