Joint Dig weekend with WRG Forestry, clearing scrub at Whitminster
16/17 March 2019
Following the last-minute cancellation of the February dig on the Basingstoke due to snowstorms, this was our first outing for 2019. We joined WRG Forestry to work on the western end of the Cotswold Canals around Whitminster, where the canal will join the River Frome for a short stretch before rejoining the original canal line for the last half mile to Saul Junction.
The forestry group were tasked with clearing willows at the point where the canal and River will merge, but our task for Saturday was to move the work flat from the east to west side of the causeway which currently takes the access track across the canal. This will allow the work flat to be used to access trees and bushes encroaching on the canal line for the quarter-mile from the causeway to the river. Fortunately, we had a landrover, a number of towing strops and some convenient logs to use as rollers. It wasn’t exactly easy given the ground conditions, but after a little resistance, head-scratching and wheel spinning, the work flat was safely afloat on the far side of the causeway.
We then turned out attention to clearing the towpath and canal line, eventually linking up with the forestry group for some satisfying bonfires.
In all, a very productive weekend getting this section of canal opened up and one step closer to linking through to Saul.