The society restarted enhancement work on the Shropshire Union system in May this year after an absence of a number of years. Previous work has left a legacy of moorings, picnic areas and benches right across the SU system. All are well used and many still bear the society’s name.
Following discussions with Canal and River Trust about possible locations for enhancement work, we chose Ellesmere on the Llangollen Canal. Here, based at historic Ellesmere Yard, we have as our own ‘patch’ – the length of canal from the Yard to Bridge 55. This includes the beautiful section past Blakemere in the ‘Shropshire Lake District’. Why not a location on the Montgomery Canal? Well, surprisingly, the Montgomery is well provided for in terms of enhancement groups but the Llangollen is not – hence our choice.
Work started in May on – what else? – renovation of the benches and picnic sites that the society installed twenty-odd years ago. We have also done vegetation and towpath clearance, and painting of the amenity area at Ellesmere Yard. The volunteer group presently has about half a dozen regulars and has so far contributed over 150 hours to the C&RT national volunteer total. The results of the work have attracted plaudits from local residents, boaters, Ellesmere Town Council and C&RT alike. Plans for next year include repairs to towpath surfaces and clearance of vegetation on the offside of the channel.
Enhancement work is not as intense or physically demanding as restoration work but is a lot of fun and just as satisfying. It is amazing what can be done during a few hours on one Saturday a month! If you are interested in getting involved in enhancement work, please see here for more details.