This month featured two highly successful but contrasting work parties. In the first a large turnout of volunteers ticked off a long list of jobs on four different sites. The second was a more focussed effort with the towpath bank the Crickheath end of the site being the main beneficiary. One thing that both shared was dry weather.
The towpath bank is the third structure in an area of underlying peat which will eventually require stone overfill and surcharge using the IBC tanks to induce subsidence. The work consumed an incredible amount of stone and as a consequence Mount Crickheath – the 10 metre high pile of stone which has for four months been part of the local topography – completely disappeared. The rapid progress was due to a new method of delivery of stone to the bank. This involved power barrows and dumpers tracking along the top of the bank to deliver material. This mean that the excavator was not involved in lifting stone and was free to concentrate on compaction. By the end of the month the bank was up to geogrid height, half a metre or so below its final configuration.
As a preliminary to work on the fourth and final bank over bad ground with overfill and surcharge (at the LAF end of the site), a long run of towpath newt fence had to be re-positioned. This was followed by a search by volunteers of the newly enclosed space. This yielded four customers who were promptly re-homed. The other newt-related activity was a test re-watering of a couple of ponds at Redwith which we constructed some years ago.
A slightly unusual task was the construction of a reinforced concrete base for a sculpture near Crickheath Bridge. The sculpture will apparently depict images of the canal and the Crickheath tramway during its working life. Some surveying in Crickheath south, intended to examine the feasibility of a test re-watering, and a start to final channel shaping in Phase 2 completed a busy month.