ON OUR recent voyage it was interesting to see the comparison of how the Bridgewater Canal undergo the bank maintenance compared to the CRT method, writes David Hargreaves.
The first clip on the Bridgewater shows the cutting machine reaching over the bank edge to get rid of any shrub growth. On the second clip is the CRT method which leaves probably a couple of feet of vegetation hanging out over the water after cutting has taken place.
I would regard the CRT method as both dangerous in that boaters and walkers/cyclists do not know where the edge is plus in the future bushes will grow on the bank edge and cause damage.
We have also noticed the spread of invasive pennywort.
This year we have encounted the stuff on the Leeds & Liverpool, The Weaver and also now on the Trent & Mersey between Northwich and Middlewich but none on the Bridgewater.
I attach a photo of the Wigan Flight which was virtually impassable last week after being closed for three months. Valiant efforts are now being made to clear a path through for the boats returning to their winter moorings.
Hopefully the weevils can be used to clear the stuff in the future but if not a more radical solution will be needed.
In both these examples perhaps it is time to let the operations teams at CRT take over from the ecologists.