As you will have seen on the news, the Government has moved our region into Tier 4 restrictions, to try to control the spread of the new Covid-19 variant.
The rules for Tier 4 state that we should stay at home, except for work or volunteering, only travel to do essential food shopping, only meet one person outside from another household and follow the hand cleaning, social distancing and wearing a face masks routine.
The Trust Board have made the decision that our working parties should therefore be put on hold for the next few weeks. This will be reviewed again after the next Government assessment in 2 weeks.
We have taken this decision, with great regret, as this time of year is busy for our Gardening Working Parties to keep the sections of canal that we own tidy and safe. I know that our volunteers enjoy getting outside to do work to help our projects, if only for a few hours. Although the rules state that we could work on site as we are volunteering, it is the rule of only meeting one other person from another household that makes our working parties difficult to run. A lot of the planned work is on public footpaths, where we would have difficulties staying clear of the public. It is reported that 1 in 3 of people with the virus show no signs of symptoms? It is our responsibility at all times to ensure that we keep all our volunteers safe.
We may have to call on a small teams of our Gardening parties to attend any emergency that may occur on our land, as we did yesterday to remove a fallen tree branch from across the path at Sandiacre. Work will also continue with the small team at the cottages following all the regulations of hand cleaning, social distancing and face masks along with ensuring that fresh air can circulate within the building. They are working in isolation from each other to prepare the building for contractors, who are planned to come to site in January. We will also continue to have contact with the Killingley workers, who are working to restore the canal at Draycott.
Hopefully, with the introduction of the vaccine we may return to some form of normal living. I would urge all our volunteers to take up the vaccine, when it is offered to them, as this will not only protect yourself but your family and other volunteers once we are allowed to restart the working parties.
Given these problem times, I would still like to wish you all a Happy New Year and hope 2021 is lot a better year. We look forward seeing you all again on a working party or at a social event.
Stay Safe and Healthy.
Derby & Sandiacre Canal Trust