World's biggest wildflower meadow

Published: Monday, 31 July 2023

AMID all the failures of CaRT’s management, which has resulted in an unprecedented number of emergency closures, some of them for weeks,writes David Hymers.

WildflowerI think there is one positive achievement which they are entitled to credit for. They have successfully created the world’s biggest wildflower meadow, 2000 miles long and three feet wide, by not mowing the canalside towpath, except where there are official moorings, if you’re lucky.

'Splendid asset'

I look forward to this splendid asset being declared a Site of Special Scientific Interest and restrictions being placed on boat movements, thus solving CaRT’s financial problems as well.

Seriously, the situation is beyond a joke. Even the Shroppie and the Llangollen, previously well maintained, have succumbed and you can now cruise for miles without being able to get off your boat, unless you want to fight your way through head high Gunnera, Himalayan Balsam and of course stinging nettles.

Not displaying licence

I wonder if the current high number of boats not displaying a current licence is actually a protest against the state of the system. On the Shroppie between Brewood and Market Drayton I counted 128 moored boats, of which 75 either had no licence or an out of date one.

At Egg Bridge out of 109 boats 78 had no valid licence displayed. I became bored with counting, but my impression is that these figures are typical, even on the Bridgewater, which does at least mow its banks.