After the frantic race against the clock to close the newt fence at Pryces Bridge during the May work party, the June event was a more leisurely affair. To usefully occupy the time during which CRT are conducting the newt search at Pryces Bridge the restoration volunteers spent the weekend on enhancement work at Wern Nature Reserve. The opportunity was also taken to do some training work.
The work party venue was an old clay pit which has been skilfully adapted to be a nature reserve. The bucolic site is, of course, also the sump of the Montgomery Canal. The runoff water from the canal apparently was used to power a small brickworks, the remains of which formed the backdrop to our temporary base.
The main item of work was repairs to a substantial bridge which spanned the deep main pond. This involved removal of the old bridge deck and its fixings, and replacement with new boarding. Together with repairs to the access paths and the balustrade this occupied half a dozen volunteers for the bulk of the two days. The very pleasing result is a bridge which is as good as new!
The other major job was painting of the area around the sluice from the canal. This included the access walkway to the sluice and the surrounding fences. The final tasks were repairs to the surface of the car park and some of the paths inside the reserve using crushed stone, and hanging a access gate. Four volunteers were trained and assessed by CRT in the use of strimmers. This is in preparation for work on clearance of the working area at Pryces where extensive strimming will be required as part of the final sweep to ensure that the area is clear of newts.