The March work party was a two day affair during which steady progress was made on the outstanding finishing jobs on Phase 1. In addition there were a variety of ‘other jobs’ which took volunteers a bit further afield. As we are (rather dangerously) beginning to think is our right, we had good weather again.
The two main tasks – installing rip-rap on the banks and towpath construction – occupied both days.
Some 40 tonnes of rip-rap stone was shifted by power barrow from the aggregate bins in the compound to the banks. It was spread out manually along the top of the bank by a gang of six volunteers. Progress was rapid on the offside but less so elsewhere where the operation was impeded by the narrow towpath and the presence of newt fences. However by the end of play about 70% of the Phase 1 rip-rap was installed.
The necessary preliminary to the towpath work was repositioning the newt fences along that section – a major job in itself. The actual towpath work was straightforward save for the installation of the outside board which involved digging through the very hard temporary stone surface. We can only blame ourselves for this since we installed the offending surface in the first place! By the end of the weekend 35 metres of new towpath had been completed.
Our volunteers were out and about at Frankton and Redwith. The work at Frankton was maintenance of the flower beds and planters. Newt fence repair took place at both Redwith and around the compound closer to home. Surveying work on Phase 2, specifically setting out chainage pegs, completed a busy weekend.
There are various bits of news to report. The first is the excellent news that the Phase 1 water test has been successful. Work will start imminently on both the newt exclusion and ground investigation drilling on Phase 2. At Crickheath only a small area of channel base remains to be shaped, piling including the concrete ring beam appears to be complete, and lining has started at the north end of the site.