Victor: So insects are more important than boaters!

Published: Sunday, 03 October 2021

SO TO give succour to insects, most towpaths will no longer be mowed to the waters edge!

THE Canal & River Trust tells it has been collecting feedback from 'boaters and towpath users, advisory groups, colleagues, and specialists', that it also tells believe that vegetation should not be cut back so that it can then allow habitat for insects.

towpath for walkersTry as we might, we can find no one who as been asked about this, and personally I can't see any one of any intelligence being concerned about insects by the canal side, especially as most of the navigation has overgrown vegetation in abundance at both sides of the waterway, plus fields, trees and woods, that surely would satisfy the most particular of insect, as they have done for the past 200 odd years.

I just cannot believe any boater would prefer not to have the towpath clear to the waters' edge to be able to moor and as for the walkers, surely they would prefer to have a clear view of the boats and the children be able toget to the edge to feed the ducks, rather than it shielded by vegetation, as already so many complain about.

All it seems is just an excuse to save cash by not bothering to cut back all the vegetation that is now sprouting-up everywhere, and that is obvious to any boater or towpath walker.  As to the 'advisory groups, colleagues, and specialists', who the hell they are is any one's guess, should they even exist—which I doubt.

A crazy decision that will just lead to even further degradation of the waterways as the uncut vegetation develops into trees—as it already has on many waterways—destroying the banks and damaging the piling, leaving them susceptible to leaks and eventually breaches.

As one of our crew, Jan, relatesCanal & River Trust needs a reality check.

windTurbinesBoat wind turbines not so good

I certainly agree with our Keith about efficiency of boat wind turbines, as we had one, thinking that at the 'windy' Sawley Marina it would recharge our batteries for our weekly visitit did not, and as Keith himself discovered in his research, finding they are not at all efficient.

The actual charge is nothing like that advertised for even in a strong wind it never achieved that it was supposed to, all it doing was making a racket keeping us awake at night, so it was quickly dispensed with. The boat in the picture had two.

Solar panels, as Keith suggests are much more efficient, and are why so many are seen on boat roofs these days.

What about the restorations?

In our time we have seen three major restorations, but alas all three have suffered severely through lack of continued maintenance.

wey 12 06 brewhurst finishedThere was the Rochdale at £25 millions, the Huddersfield Narrow at £30 millions and the Anderton Boat Lift at £7 millions.

You all know what is happening to these restorations, so no need for me to elaborate.

But what is now a worry, is what will happen when the restorations such as the Chesterfield, Wey & Arun and Grantham are completed and then fall into the hands of Canal & River Trust to maintain...

For those behind such tremendous efforts and their volunteers, it indeed must be a worry to realise that it could all be in vain under the present standard of maintenance.

Victor Swift