Anglers causing swan casualties

Published: Wednesday, 22 April 2009
A WILDLIFE charity is appealing for anglers to take more care after seeing a sharp rise in swan casualties caused by discarded fishing tackle.

Volunteers and veterinary surgeons at the Yorkshire Swan Rescue Hospital, based at Brandsby, near York, have seen 27 swans injured so far this month as a result of dumped fishermen’s lines and hooks in the Ouse.

The same problem as been found on the Selby Canal with fishing lines and hooks discarded by anglers.

The charity workers had to launch their rescue boat for a third time in a week on the Ouse last Friday when they were alerted to a severely injured nesting swan near to Naburn Lock.

The swan was found suffering with a triple-barbed fishing lure lodged in its neck, and line wrapped tightly around its wings and feet. It was treated on the banks of the Ouse and was later returned to it’s waiting mate and eggs.

Boost for Foxton Inclined Plane

Published: Wednesday, 22 April 2009
THE East Midlands Development Agency (EMDA) has approved the application for the 'Foxton Locks Boat Lift (Masterplanning) 2008-11' project, which follows the successful first stage of the restoration of the defunct inclined plane at Foxton Locks.

This project will undertake the development work needed to test the feasibility of rebuilding a working Inclined Plane. This, it is believed, would provide a landmark attraction of national importance and aim to increase annual visitor numbers to half a million by 2016.

James Clifton, Regeneration Manager at British Waterways enthused:

"We are delighted that the study is to be supported. Assuming that we have a positive result and get over the relevant hurdles, the project could commence on site in five years and be delivered in two more."

Grand Union towpath collapses

Published: Monday, 20 April 2009
THERE was an urgent call to British Waterways on Saturday when a deep hole appeared in the towpath of the Grand Union Canal at Blisworth.

A team of engineers inspected the site, which was then fenced off from the public, though passage is still possible, and we are told the hole will be filled in during the week. The navigation is not affected.

Extending Barnoldswick marina

Published: Monday, 20 April 2009

WORK is well under way on expanding Lower Park Marina, at Barnoldswick on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal from its present capacity of 15 to 50.

This is due to open in June, with berths for wide beam as well as narrowboats, with electricity and water points on the jetties, with ample parking.

Planning permission was granted way back in 2002, but explains Manager Wayne King:

“We got planning permission for the expansion back in 2002 but we suffered a series of set-backs and had to raise enough money for the build. We also intend to put in hawthorn hedges interspersed with trees, which we are hoping will look really nice when it is finished."

The marina will not however accommodate residentials.

Worries about Cemex plant polluting the Avon

Published: Monday, 20 April 2009
CEMEX, the company that was supposed to use the Severn and a wharf in Gloucester to move aggregate, but didn't, is under fire for its plans to erect a waste processing plant by the Avon.

Roy Sandison of the Green Party has described the plans to build the plant next to the river as ‘sheer madness’ and that if the plans get the go ahead it could mean that the Avon becomes ‘one of the most polluted rivers in the country'.

He believes that every town and village downstream of the plant, including Evesham, Pershore, Bidford and Tewkesbury, will feel the effects in terms of the river’s cleanliness, flooding, tourism factors and the health of wildlife, stating:

“This is a disaster waiting to happen, whereby communities along the river, wildlife and also national tourist attractions across Warwickshire, Worcestershire and beyond, face the real danger of our historic Avon becoming one of the most polluted in the country.

“We are also very concerned that water taken from the Avon for drinking could also become contaminated.”

However, Cemex refuted the allegations of the plant causing pollution stating that the scheme would be good for the environment.

The proposals are to build a plant to turn rubbish into fuel for the Cemex cement plant, and will go before Warwickshire County Council later this year.

Unsafe boatyard case adjourned

Published: Friday, 17 April 2009

THE case of a boat building company Fairline, charged with two breaches of health and safety has been adjourned.

The company is charged with failing to organise its boatyard at Nene Park site in a way which pedestrians and vehicles could move in a safe manner, and also failing to ensure a sufficient assessment of health and safety risks relating to the movement of vehicles and pedestrians was in place.

The were brought by the Health & Safety Executive after an employee was dragged under a forklift truck that was being driven across the site by a cleaning contractor in December 2007.

At the hearing this week the magistrates adjourned the case until the 3rd June when it will be heard at Northampton. The maximum fine the company could receive is £5,000 per charge.

Castlemill Boatyard developer goes bust

Published: Saturday, 04 April 2009

THERE will certainly be no new plans for the controversial development of Castlemill Boatyard on the Oxford Canal at Jericho—the company has gone bust, Alan Tilbury relates.

Woman had her leg broken by speeding towpath cyclist

Published: Saturday, 04 April 2009

THOUGH the Five Rise Locks at Bingley are a massive attraction, campaigners are afraid of the safety of people as cyclists speed down the cycle track by the locks, Alan Tilbury reveals.

£100,000 for Lancaster Canal

Published: Saturday, 04 April 2009
THOUGH £100,000 is to be spent on the Lancaster Canal in Kendall, alas it is not on the waterways itself but on upgrading the towpath into a cycle track.

The work will be from the canal head, with the scheme being approved by Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet last year.

With withdrawal of funding for the canal, named Northern Reaches, the possibility of it being re-connected to the Lancaster Canal after being cut by the M6 motorway is remote.

Marina planned for Droitwich

Published: Saturday, 04 April 2009

THOUGH there is yet no restored canal at Droitwich, plans have been put forward to build a 238 berths marina near the town, for when the Barge and Junction canals are restored.

The plans have been submitted by GJP Marina Development Ltd on behalf of Mr J and Miss A Weston, and would be built on 6.81 hectares of flat agricultural land to the north of Droitwich Rugby Club.

Provision of such a marina was originally identified in the Droitwich Canals Supplementary Planning Guidance in 2004. The proposals include an amenities building for administrative offices, toilets, showers, laundry facilities, storage and car parking.

Local residents however have raised objections to the plans due to the green belt location, its size and the heavy traffic flow caused. But supporters claim such a scheme would bring more people to the town and offer employment opportunities.