I have been tasked again with putting together this months newsletter to let you all know what is happening.
We are now on the Covid ‘road map’ to trying to get the activities of the Trust back on track. Following the relaxation of the restrictions after the 29th March, we have restarted our twice weekly Gardening Working Parties for our volunteers on Wednesday and Sunday mornings. Small teams have also been out in the week for volunteers who cannot attend on Wednesday and Sunday, or just want to get out of the house more often. As the restrictions are further reduced, we will look at what we can do outside and hopefully restart meeting and attend events.
Our committee meetings are still being held on ‘Zoom’ and the recent members meeting have been successful with up to 35 households attending.
Updates on various sites and projects
At the cottages the contractors are continuing to work on Cottages 1, 2 & 3 with most of plaster boarding and skimming finished. The toilet block now has the roof structure in place and will be felted and tiled shortly. The ground works for the paths to the sides and rear of cottages and the entrance and car parks surface will be starting soon. To allow this we are looking to move our storage container to Borrowash. This will give us 3 points on the section from Borrowash to Breaston where we can store tools, to make it easier for our Gardening Parties to operate.
The dig out at Draycott will be restarting soon, to complete the Derby Rd section. This will allow the section to populated with plants, so that the water voles on the next section can be caught in September and holiday in the new section. The contractors will then return in the autumn to finish the dig out to Hopwell Rd. This will, unfortunately, mean that the well used footpath will have to be closed for a number of weeks again during the coming year.
At Anglers Lane, the clear up work has continued following the removal of the trees that were about to fall on the allotments. To allow safe access to the trees we have had to remove a lot of brambles in the same area. It has been amazing the amount of ‘stuff’ that has been found. In conjunction with the allotment owners, Spondon in need of relief, the asbestos sheet, broken glass and general rubbish of metal, plastics and shoes, has been removed. Almost all of the branches and brambles have been chipped or moved to create a clear area, that will then only need mowing. We have also helped a local school, Asterdale Primary School, to create a ‘woodland’ area for the children to play in. One of our active volunteers has ensured that the general public are entertained while walking this section and has created a family from the tree stumps. See the pictures below.
The Gardening Work Parties will be expanding their actives over the next few weeks. At Draycott, we will be continuing to remove brambles and saplings along the section still to be dug out. At Borrowash, between Station Rd and the Bottom lock, we are continuing to pull out the cracked willow bushes and exposing the stone walls. At Borrowash Bottom Lock we are ensuring that we are ready for the possible IWA / WRG visit to takes place in the summer and keeping the area around the Ock brook tidy.
At Spondon, behind ‘The Dial’ housing estate, Wheeldon Builder have moved the heras fencing from the side of the path to the top of the off bank by the houses. This is looking more like a canal.
Work is also continuing behind the scenes to push forward moving of the STWA sewers at Sandiacre, Borrowash and now Anglers Lane. This is to allow these sections to be returned to a canal. More news on this as it happens.
The trip boat ‘Outram’ has now been finished and has had a limited ‘sea trials’ on the Erewash Canal. This was to test out some of the sophisticated electrical systems on the water. We are awaiting the finalisation of details with Derby City Council, to allow us to put the boat on the Derwent, when the Covid restrictions allow.
Again, behind the scenes, various discussion are taking place in Derby regarding the plans to create the Derby Arm and river navigation below the weir in Derby, along with ideas of future Derby projects and partnerships.