First Work Party on the Uttoxeter Canal for 5 years

Over the weekend of 13th and 14th November, a total of 24 volunteers (18 on the Saturday and 16 on the Sunday) spent a day or two of their time working at Froghall Basin. 

When we started on the Saturday morning the areas around the basin were very overgrown with weeds and self set saplings, the basin was full of weed, the paths were grassed over and the jetties were dangerously slippery.

By the end of the weekend, we had:

  • Removed the self set saplings
  • strimmed all the grassed areas/banks
  • grappled weed out of the basin
  • dug paths around the basin free of weeds
  • scrubbed the pontoon jetties
  • cleaned and painted 6 wooden benches
  • painted bollards white
  • removed one dead tree
  • cleared the lock wing walls of brambles

Using a BW work boat; creating habitat piles and a bonfire all featured during the weekend, as did the training of some volunteers to use strimmers.  For a full write up see Knobsticks and Cherry Eye magazines.

[click images for larger versions and to see more from the weekend]

Volunteers came from as far afield as Sheffield, Manchester, Middlewich, Nottingham, Wigan, Leicester and London, as well as a few more local people.

During the weekend a total of 194 hours work was put in by volunteers.  This figure doesn’t include the many hours put in by Stuart Collins, BW Volunteer Co-ordinator, his colleague, Peter Mason, who did sterling work on the jetties on Sunday morning, or Hank, who carried out the strimmer training on the Saturday.

This was a significant weekend as it was the first work party on the Uttoxeter Canal since the reopening of Froghall Basin – watch this space as we do hope to be able to start work further down the Uttoxeter Canal as part of the Living Landscape scheme in the next year or two.  In the meantime, there is the possibility of a further work party, probably on the Caldon Canal at Cheddleton, early next year.  If anyone would like to join in, do let me know.

Alison Smedley
Work Party Organiser