This month saw the first two day work party on the new length of canal. The work involved a continuation of preparatory work around Pryces Bridge, and a major effort on the Redwith compound to prepare for both the impending move and the official opening of the canal on 19th July.
Things kicked off on the Friday with deliveries of a considerable quantity of newt fencing, together with some very substantial newt grids, and a trenching machine.
Come Saturday the volunteers were joined by Steve and Sarah from CRT who, as well as advising us on all aspects of the newt fence, got stuck into the initial vegetation clearance. The first task was taking down a number of sections of stock fence to give access for the trenching machine. The latter turned out to be very effective at speedily digging a narrow trench suitable for burying the bottom of the newt fence. It was only when we have to dig the trench by hand in areas that the machine could not get to that we realised just how much effort it saved. The fence is made of sections of recycled plastic which will eventually be bolted together to form a barrier. By mid afternoon as work was progressing we came face to face with our first Great Crested Newt. The two year old female was cared for by Steve and Sarah and, after posing for photographs, was returned to a suitable location in the channel. By close of play on Sunday about 65m of fence had been installed.
Sorting out the compound turned out to be a major task. All of our accumulated possessions over the six years were checked over to see if they would make the journey to the new site, be returned to CRT, or be burnt or recycled. The area was cleaned and tidied in readiness for hosting the official opening. This weekend will, if things go according to plan, be the last Work Party based at Redwith. It has been our home for six and a half years and although we will miss it we look forward to working at our new location.