What a glorious time for seeing the autumn colours. The relatively mild temperatures, sunny days and lack of wind have created ideal conditions to see nature’s spectacle of golden brown, yellow and red leaves. I think that this has been the most picturesque autumn since I have worked on the Wey Navigations and also the most prolonged so I do hope that you all get to come out and see it before the trees lose their leaves to the cold of winter. I always think of this burst of colour as a fond farewell before winter kicks in, but don’t worry as the river can be just as beautiful on a frosty winter’s morning.
With autumn definitely here the vegetation growth has finally slowed down, meaning that the locksides have only needed one mow this month, but unless we get a real cold snap I’m sure I’ll still be mowing into November. Out on the towpath however the vegetation is
already dying back so you may have noticed that I have done an extra wide cut with the ride on mower. This is in preparation for my annual winter cutback of all the bankside vegetation to prevent the build-up of dense vegetation and allow us to inspect the banks. As with most of the jobs on the Navigation I am limited with vehicle access which means I can’t use large machinery and have to rely on long days with the strimmer.
One of my major tasks in past weeks has been to remove some of the low branches that
were beginning to obstruct the towpath between the A320 and the A25. As this section has
been closed for most of the summer I haven’t been able to carry out my “little and often”
approach, meaning that I am now removing slightly larger branches than normal to make
sure the towpath is clear and open to all users. Thanks must go to my regular volunteers for their help with this as it has taken a lot of their time and effort, and hopefully you’ll agree it’s been well worth it.
Other tasks this month have involved updating records, ordering machinery spares for the
annual tool servicing and a major tidy up of my workshop. These are all jobs that I have
been unable to achieve over the hectic summer months so it’s been great to have a little
more time to prepare for the busy winter work programme of maintenance, cutting back
vegetation and of course the 24hr responsibility of water level control.
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