SOME CHELMER CANAL TRUST ORGANISED WORK PARTY
REPORTS / PHOTOS TAKEN DURING 2020.
WeedbustingSaturday, 4th January 2020
Upper Blackwater Creeks
Despite illness and injury afflicting some, the first work party of 2020 was attended by a welcome number of our most loyal volunteers.
Our task was to remove pennywort from two ‘creeks’ just off the Upper Blackwater at Beeleigh, the location being chosen because flooding of the main system would be likely to have re-distributed pennywort throughout the Navigation, wasting our time seeking it out. Safety briefing over our team headed out to see what we could find. This was unclear as although the area has been monitored we hadn’t actually worked here since June 2016.
It was no great surprise to find that the weed we anticipated would be there was there!
Not the best place to work, both from an access point of view and because the floating pennywort disguised logs and branches which made it difficult to slide rafts of weed to the bank. Nevertheless, our team worked from either side of the first creek/ditch; some even sat down! Understandable. It was wet and slippery. And VERY smelly.
But perseverance, some excellent crome-on-a-rope throwing skills and attention to detail meant that what had seemed to be an impossible task was efficiently completed.
On to the next, larger, creek. At first glance this looked like it was going to be an impossible task, with pennywort covering more than half the surface e area of the creek and no coracle or kayak to bring the furthest reaches to shore.
But again our trusty team were not daunted and got down to work along the bank.
Careful teasing of the complete raft, being brought towards us sensitively so as not to break it up, meant that we had as much pennywort as we could deal with, and more.
The piles of pennywort built up,
And eventually practically all of the pennywort that had been floating on the water had now been piled up on the bank. And the creek was now clear.
All that remained was for us to do a bit of tidying up of one of the outlets into the main river and then to head back to Beeleigh for well-earned refreshments.
An excellent start to our 2020 weedbusting season!