Once the chamber is complete we will turn our attention to fixing the lock gates and bringing back water to the channel. In due course a bridge will be built over the lock chamber to accommodate foot and cycle traffic, which would be prevented from crossing the channel below the lock. The intention is to fill the section so that it can be used for recreational boating while we await further restoration.
Borrowash Developments – Managing the Site
We breathed a big sigh of relief just before Christmas 2018. For over a year we have grown increasingly concerned that the Alder trees along the canal by Station Road would cause a major train accident. They have always been growing over the fence and the railway line beneath and, given that some of them were starting to rot, we knew we were in danger of one of them collapsing onto the line.
We’re pleased that after consulting with Network Rail we have been able to prevent the disaster. We were helped by some professional local tree fellers, who were able to bring them down safely with the help of volunteers from DSCT, who were able to make sure the public were safe and cut up and remove the felled trees. It was a mammoth task for all concerned. This followed the felling of the remaining cracked willow trees on the offbank, which were also leaning over a neighbour’s property. Cracked Willow is not an attractive tree and as its name suggests is liable to cracking and so is also dangerous to anyone underneath.
Now that we have removed the main trunks we are able to move on with the second part of the plan.
We acquired around 400 saplings selected by the Woodland Trust and when appropriate will plant them on the offbank. They will produce a mix of habitats including broadleaf trees and shrubs like hawthorn, holly, etc. Over time these will provide a good amount of cover for wildlife and will merge with the established trees still on the offside, which are both safe and attractive. We’ve even had to politely refuse residents’ requests to take them down.
In 2019, we performed a final tidy up on the towpath side and the planting of saplings across the water. we even started using some of the logs to form insect havens to encourage birds, etc. We’re also planning an improvement of the towpath surface itself in the future so that it is wheelchair friendly.
Interested in helping out?
Please feel free to come along to one of our Working Parties in the area, see the Calendar for the latest dates and further details.