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Mowing the towpath


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A notice about weeds has been reported on this website, but there were was also a CRT notice about mowing, where consideration is being given to changing the schedule, perhaps to save on the expense. They say it will be to be benefit of boaters, but if the vegetation is allowed to encroach on the towpath will this be adverse to those that walk along the towpath. ? 

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3 hours ago, Heartland said:

A notice about weeds has been reported on this website, but there were was also a CRT notice about mowing, where consideration is being given to changing the schedule, perhaps to save on the expense. They say it will be to be benefit of boaters, but if the vegetation is allowed to encroach on the towpath will this be adverse to those that walk along the towpath. ? 

Have to keep the towpath users happy…and if that’s at the expense of boaters then ho hum! 

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Presumably C&RT are wasting their time sending out their 'updates'

 

The majority of the feedback has been in favour of increasing the amount of habitat fringe, but we recognised we needed to make certain amendments to our specifications to ensure that our towpaths are suitable for all and especially our boating customers, these include:

  • Ensuring sightlines on the in-side of sharp bends are mown to the waters’ edge.
  • Locks and moorings continue to be maintained to a high standard.
  • Informal moorings are cut every kilometre if no alternative formal mooring is available.  
  • The towpath walking area is set with a minimum width, so it’s the fringe width that varies instead to the towpath walking area.
  • Limit the amount of ‘green wall’, by seeking alternative management regimes where towpath vegetation growth is excessively tall for long stretches.  
  • Full width cut removing that seasons growth including saplings will remain, and can commence from August to replicate a hay meadow style cut.
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1 hour ago, frangar said:

Have to keep the towpath users happy…and if that’s at the expense of boaters then ho hum! 

 

As a boater paying for three licences I ride my bike every inch of the canals I cruise. To keep me happy, mowing the towpath would be wonderful. I wonder if it will ever happen. 

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10 minutes ago, Hudds Lad said:

Not cutting to waters edge is sheer stupidity.

Why? I can remember the days when towpaths were never mowed (nor locksides and moorings), and there was usually just a narrow trodden path through the undergrowth. If you wanted to moor you trampled the undergrowth down a bit, and as there were far more lengths with no bank protection than nowadays, you expected to use a plank half the time, even with a shallow drafted boat.

I see CRT are going to do an annual cut to the water's edge, including saplings, which will prevent the growth of those narrow strips of woodland between the towpath and the waters edge which one comes across from time to time.

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21 minutes ago, MtB said:

 

As a boater paying for three licences I ride my bike every inch of the canals I cruise. To keep me happy, mowing the towpath would be wonderful. I wonder if it will ever happen. 

Maybe you should pay for a cycling permit as well…..

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41 minutes ago, Hudds Lad said:

I’d like to see a FOI request on this so called feedback? Who did they ask? Not cutting to waters edge is sheer stupidity.

There has been some debate on Facebook with even boaters wanting them left to grow wild flowers

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26 minutes ago, Arthur Marshall said:

Memo to self: pack the strimmer next year...

Funny enough I was poking about in my gardening shed yesterday and found a virtually unused strimmer. Now all I've got to do is free up some storage space on the boat.  

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1 hour ago, Hudds Lad said:

I’d like to see a FOI request on this so called feedback? Who did they ask? Not cutting to waters edge is sheer stupidity.

CRT have done some polls on Twitter, don’t know if they have done similar on other social media platforms.

 

1 hour ago, Pie Eater said:

Has anyone seen a full width cut being done yet?

I think it very much depends on where you are.  For example early this summer the South Stratford had what seemed like no cutting at all, the lock landings and lock sides were 2ft high grass and weeds.

 

On the other hand the whole length of the Llangollen is manicured to within an inch of its life, fully from the hedge to the edge.

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1 hour ago, john6767 said:

  For example early this summer the South Stratford had what seemed like no cutting at all, the lock landings and lock sides were 2ft high grass and weeds.

It was the same around here but eventually the lawnmowers were brought out . ''No Mow May'' was possibly the reason?

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2 hours ago, ditchcrawler said:

I carry shears

We've got a sickle. Useful for hooking the floating detritus out of lock approaches as well as for making a small space for mooring.

 

Besides, all these manicured bits just get crapped on by the doggies anyway!

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14 hours ago, David Mack said:

Why? I can remember the days when towpaths were never mowed (nor locksides and moorings), and there was usually just a narrow trodden path through the undergrowth. If you wanted to moor you trampled the undergrowth down a bit, and as there were far more lengths with no bank protection than nowadays, you expected to use a plank half the time, even with a shallow drafted boat.

I see CRT are going to do an annual cut to the water's edge, including saplings, which will prevent the growth of those narrow strips of woodland between the towpath and the waters edge which one comes across from time to time.

Because if it was just grass that would be fine and manageable, but everywhere you go there are well established saplings and bushes poking out, if they’ve not been managed by the previous regime of cutting what makes you think they’ll suddenly be sorted now? It’s just another excuse to shirk the responsibilities, and meanwhile the channels get narrower and narrower and bank defects become harder to spot. I don’t expect a towpath to be like a bowling green, but i quite like to see what i’m stepping off onto.

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33 minutes ago, Hudds Lad said:

Because if it was just grass that would be fine and manageable, but everywhere you go there are well established saplings and bushes poking out, if they’ve not been managed by the previous regime of cutting what makes you think they’ll suddenly be sorted now? It’s just another excuse to shirk the responsibilities, and meanwhile the channels get narrower and narrower and bank defects become harder to spot. I don’t expect a towpath to be like a bowling green, but i quite like to see what i’m stepping off onto.

 

Last month my wife sprained her ankle getting of the boat because the canalside overgrowth was hiding a hole in the bank.

 

On a slightly different issue, for the last 4 winters I've been part of a group of volunteers cutting back the offside vegetation working from a boat and using pole chainsaws, wood chipper etc. This winter we were expecting to carry on from where we left off in March but CRT have said we will instead be working various sections of the towpath that have been allowed to 'get out of hand'. 

 

We are all boaters and the reason we signed up 4 years ago was specifically to deal with the offside vegetation because it had got so bad, and probably wouldn't get done otherwise. I know CRT are having to really push the benefits to the public in order to try and secure future government funding, but this is a step too far, so we have all refused to do it. Besides which if in the past if we saw an encroaching tree or branch on the towpath side one of us would nip across and deal with it anyway.

 

Their decision has lost them 8 trained and experienced volunteers, and the offside veg will be left to get even worse, causing mayhem in places especially now the canals are becoming ever busier.

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14 hours ago, john6767 said:

CRT have done some polls on Twitter, don’t know if they have done similar on other social media platforms.

 

I think it very much depends on where you are.  For example early this summer the South Stratford had what seemed like no cutting at all, the lock landings and lock sides were 2ft high grass and weeds.

 

On the other hand the whole length of the Llangollen is manicured to within an inch of its life, fully from the hedge to the edge.

This bit on the Llangollen wasn't, the towpath is on the right of the photo...

IMG_20210705_104850370_HDR.jpg.29b4577c19c1147b9f37fcd41b33881c.jpg

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1 hour ago, Rob-M said:

This bit on the Llangollen wasn't, the towpath is on the right of the photo...

IMG_20210705_104850370_HDR.jpg.29b4577c19c1147b9f37fcd41b33881c.jpg

Yes that's one of those strips of woodland between the towpath and the water's edge I mentioned earlier. They should be cut down annually (including that which grows out over the water).

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1 minute ago, David Mack said:

Yes that's one of those strips of woodland between the towpath and the water's edge I mentioned earlier. They should be cut down annually (including that which grows out over the water).

We were back up there a couple of weeks ago and it had actually now been cut down. I sent the pictures, which were taken in July, to CRT saying that the trees were causing issues as there wasn't a clear line of sight.

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16 hours ago, gatekrash said:

We've got a sickle. Useful for hooking the floating detritus out of lock approaches as well as for making a small space for mooring.

 

Besides, all these manicured bits just get crapped on by the doggies anyway!

So do the unmanicured bits but you don't see it until it's  too late.🐕

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On 08/10/2021 at 11:03, Grassman said:

 

Last month my wife sprained her ankle getting of the boat because the canalside overgrowth was hiding a hole in the bank.

 

On a slightly different issue, for the last 4 winters I've been part of a group of volunteers cutting back the offside vegetation working from a boat and using pole chainsaws, wood chipper etc. This winter we were expecting to carry on from where we left off in March but CRT have said we will instead be working various sections of the towpath that have been allowed to 'get out of hand'. 

 

We are all boaters and the reason we signed up 4 years ago was specifically to deal with the offside vegetation because it had got so bad, and probably wouldn't get done otherwise. I know CRT are having to really push the benefits to the public in order to try and secure future government funding, but this is a step too far, so we have all refused to do it. Besides which if in the past if we saw an encroaching tree or branch on the towpath side one of us would nip across and deal with it anyway.

 

Their decision has lost them 8 trained and experienced volunteers, and the offside veg will be left to get even worse, causing mayhem in places especially now the canals are becoming ever busier.

And I bet they thought you were all being belligerent by refusing orders.

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On 08/10/2021 at 11:39, Rob-M said:

This bit on the Llangollen wasn't, the towpath is on the right of the photo...

IMG_20210705_104850370_HDR.jpg.29b4577c19c1147b9f37fcd41b33881c.jpg

Is the just below Grindley Brook, I seem to remember a few bits like that there, where there were trees on the towpath side.  They can not be new, so are not really a consequence of this years mowing scheme.  Most of the towthat was like the foreground when we were there in July/August/Sept.

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On 08/10/2021 at 11:03, Grassman said:

Last month my wife sprained her ankle getting of the boat because the canalside overgrowth was hiding a hole in the bank.

Mrs 1st Ade did that a few years ago, leapt of the stern deck (hire boat) to a scream. At first I couldn't see the issue; her leg up to the knee had disappeared so it looked like she was kneeling! Her language was not exactly prayer like!

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