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The section you are talking about seems to be suffering with subsidence and having a thick layer of peat under the line of the canal which will need special attention, that has slowed down work in that area. Funding is a big problem it has been for years with the preps for the olympics and it will for a number yet with the excuse of austerity and still paying off the 'lympics, this waterway is ripe for restoration and will add huge resources to the local areas as well as the system as a whole.

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I am not a member of SUCS although have joined the Norbury to Newport community interest group as there seems to be an optimism that the people of Newport are keen for this to happen.

 

 

Carl

I would love this canal to Newport to reopen, but it will probably never start, as i've heard about it for years. Also if it does start it will only end up like the Monty and take forever, unfortunately I don't intend to live that long so i'd rather more money was spent maintaining the system that's still in water.

Casp'

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Maybe the Montgomery should be re-abandoned and the Norbury to Newport section of the Shropshire union could be considered instaed

 

Ha. Such is the way the world works. One of the oft-cited reasons for the Shrewsbury & Newport branch being left to decay is that campaigners in the 1960s decided that the Montgomery was a better prospect (and don't ask me to verify that, it was ten years before I was born...).

 

But I did think it was fairly well known that the slow progress of the Montgomery is largely due to ecological concerns. Certainly I remember being on the "last dig" at Aston before the locks were due to reopen the next weekend (sueb was cooking, I think!). In the event it took another seven years before approval could be obtained. Yes, one can certainly look at a map or even on the ground and say "I could dig this out in a weekend", but actually getting the permission to do so is a whole bunch harder.

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Seems daft theyd shift it there when its not as far as I am aware a BW water yet, do they have a statutory duty of care for the in water sections?

Are you referring to the Monty? If so, it is a BW/CaRT water. They continue to maintain the non-navigable sections, such as the lock gate replacement at Carreghofa locks, plus works carried out recently on Vyrnwy aqueduct.

 

I was hoping that someone from WRG or from the Shropshire union canal society would be able to explain why a WRG workgroup could not finish the section from Redwith to Pryces bridge. Looking at the SUCS website the distance is 400 metres. Since 2008 200 yards has been completed. 100 metres per year!!! According to PETE's excellent Montgomery website there were 4 weeks planned last year but nothing seems to have happened. Why? This year nothing seems to have been scheduled. Why?

I think that probably the biggest issue is that one group wants to be solely responsible for any section it works on. Whether WRG would want to work on a section that SUCS have been working on for several years, I don't know. Whether SUCS would want WRG to work on a section they'd already been working on for several years, I don't know. You say that since 2008 100 metres per year has been completed*, but the canal doesn't get worked on in a linear fashion. In fact I'd say that until September 2010, none of the canal was completed. The good news is that since the lining of the canal started, a new liner material has been approved for use, which is easier to work with (bentonite is really, really heavy), the ground is slightly easier to shape (there were plenty of trees in the canal bed near Prices Bridge), and the work is moving closer to the compound (when you have to walk 200 metres for a cup of tea it all ads up). In 2012 some of the progress was slowed by having to pump thousands of gallons of water from the area that needs working on. I think (and this is just my opinion) that if the weather this year stays generally fair (because when it rains the canal holds the water) then by the end of 2013 there will be considerable progress to see.

 

Why have WRG not continued the work they did on the Prices - Crickheath section in 2011? I don't know, you'd have to ask them! I might suspect though that they found the state of the canal harder than they first thought though. I have seen a reference to the section they lined being a trial section of some 10 metres or so. My understanding though is that it was not a trial, but that they had planned to line 100 metres in the 4 or 5 weeks of work parties. Given how organised and experienced WRG are, I think that's an indicator of how tricky that section is!

 

* In fact, you've got your sums wrong, and the average pace is 50 metres per year.

 

I would love this canal to Newport to reopen, but it will probably never start, as i've heard about it for years. Also if it does start it will only end up like the Monty and take forever, unfortunately I don't intend to live that long so i'd rather more money was spent maintaining the system that's still in water.

I'd love to see the Shrewsbury Canal restoration under way too, but there are land ownership issues to face before they can even start restoration. The balance between maintenance of existing and restoration is one that there's no easy answer to.

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I think that you may have hit the nail on the head. I thought the object was to complete a section of canal and get it back in water. Should SUCS and WRG not be working together to achieve this. That would get interest and a grand opening with press coverage and an article in one of the magazines. I cannot accept that WRG would find it too difficult as they seem to have created a similar length of canal out of a field at Over on the H&G in very wet conditions. I suspect that they feel that they can achieve more on other canals or that they have a better working relationship with other canal societies. Why is there is not a single WRG workcamp on the Montgomery this year.

 

I can accept that the nature reserve people have put up many barriers which is why I suggest that restoration past LLanymanech is probably stupid and the canal past there should be given to Powys council as a nature reserve and stop spending money to maintain a canal that will never see a boat. The section from Redwith bridge to LLanymanech is dry and does not appear to have any great nature qualities, it is essentially boggy grass.

 

Carl

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Why is there is not a single WRG workcamp on the Montgomery this year.

I don't know. Why not ask them? :)

I can accept that the nature reserve people have put up many barriers which is why I suggest that restoration past LLanymanech is probably stupid and the canal past there should be given to Powys council as a nature reserve and stop spending money to maintain a canal that will never see a boat.

On the contrary, if the restoration can be progressed as far as Llanymynech (4 miles of dry canal), then from Llanymynech the canal is in water all the way to the navigable section. Raise (or engineer around) 4 lowered bridges, do a bit of dredging and you've added another 16 miles of navigation, including Welshpool.

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  • 4 weeks later...

We went down the Monty yesterday.

Around Carreghofa there appears to have been a lot of work done. Bank and weed clearance etc and also new gates on both locks. Is this the third new set that have had no use (other than when I was a child and used to go through in a canoe)?

 

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One word which still strike fear into any WPO is BAGDERS and this bit of the mont has them!

However there is then another word, a far worse word though, NEWTS which is ultimate bad word. (can be made even worse that that by prepending "Great Crested") As the canal under restoration is now vaguely holding water, these little beauties have turned up, and that is the end of the game till GNW. The problem is that they are totally protected, Our laws, EU laws, everybodies laws, so nothing can be done, I'm surprised the towpath is still open as a footpath!, people are looking for a solution, lots of effort is going on, but don't forget this is with one group of people who bear the brunt of the government cuts, and are loosing their jobs, its really hard to negotiate, as its a set of fresh faces at each new meeting. Work on the towpath has being carried out but the main channel is currently a total no go area, I believe. How long it will remain like that God Only Knows.

The aim is to get to the welsh border, as once that is reached that will enable the Welsh office to Burst into life, but we have to get there first. Plans are being discussed about starting else where on the English length, but nothing in place yet. The environmentalists have a total whip hand at the moment, even though I believe we have totally demonstrated that a restored canal is as good as the set of lakes, which we had to build alongside the canal to get it restored beyond the A5.

--

Cheers Ian Mac

Edited by Ian Mac
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They are replacing lockgates? In locks that are not used, and even if, eventually, by a relatively small amount of boats?

 

Whilst the locks in Bath are about to fall to pieces? Another months closing in the offing, to try to repair the worst problems, to eek another season out of them. And on the montgomery they replace unused gates...

 

I'm with Casp here, fix what we have first.

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I did email WRG but have not had a reply as yet. As for Great Crested Newts they are very common in Shropshire. What a waste to replace gates on a canal that has no boats. Some gates on the Norbury to Newport section would be welcome.

 

Carl

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We have a similar issue in Cheshire. While greater crested newts are a rare species, one of their (few) naturally-occuring habitat areas is parts of Cheshire. And in the areas they are, they are common as muck.

 

Wherever in Britain the railways try to work, the RARE great crested newt appears and stops the job. I like wildlife as much as the next man but just HOW rare is this creature?

 

George ex nb Alton retired

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HOW rare is this creature?

 

George ex nb Alton retired

 

About 400,000 individuals at up to 18,000 sites. Which at first glance seems large however the numbers have been falling and compared to the House Sparrow (13,000,000) which is declining and considered threatened it is an infintesimal population. Also the Sparrows can move around to more suitable habitats a newt is a bit more limited.

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About 400,000 individuals at up to 18,000 sites. Which at first glance seems large however the numbers have been falling and compared to the House Sparrow (13,000,000) which is declining and considered threatened it is an infintesimal population. Also the Sparrows can move around to more suitable habitats a newt is a bit more limited.

 

'cos they ain't got newt to travel on......

 

 

sorry, coat...

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Wherever in Britain the railways try to work, the RARE great crested newt appears and stops the job. I like wildlife as much as the next man but just HOW rare is this creature?

 

George ex nb Alton retired

 

My understanding is that they're not that rare, but with further development of 'natural' habitat to build roads, railways, (canals), housing etc then obviously its habitat is diminished. Basically it is an animal of convenience which is wheeled out by environmentalists and others who dislike a particular development, to stop something in its tracks. Recently we had a trunk road in our area upgraded (A550). They had to build several ponds to recreate habitats, capture newts and move them around a bit, then reestablish them. Apparently this added 3x to the cost of the project

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House sparrows, can barely move because of them. Hundreds of the darned things nest in the garage every year. Not rare around here.

 

Carl

 

You are truly lucky,I can't remember when we last had a sparrow in the garden. Tree Sparrows, Pheasants, Reed Bunting - 15 to 20 species a day but House Sparrows (and incidentally Starlings) not a sign

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About 400,000 individuals at up to 18,000 sites. Which at first glance seems large however the numbers have been falling and compared to the House Sparrow (13,000,000) which is declining and considered threatened it is an infintesimal population. Also the Sparrows can move around to more suitable habitats a newt is a bit more limited.

 

Given that it keeps cropping up all over the place, it is clearly VERY good at colonising new environments.

 

Basically, the important thing in restoration is to slash and burn. Make damn sure than no species ever establishes itself.

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I did email WRG but have not had a reply as yet. As for Great Crested Newts they are very common in Shropshire. What a waste to replace gates on a canal that has no boats. Some gates on the Norbury to Newport section would be welcome.

 

Carl

 

Has that got boats then? :rolleyes:

 

If the newts are that popular in Shropshire then surely they'll also be an environmentalist campaing to prevent that canal's rebirth as well. Are the Norbury Wharf boatyard going to give up their drydock without a struggle....

 

Given that it keeps cropping up all over the place, it is clearly VERY good at colonising new environments.

 

Basically, the important thing in restoration is to slash and burn. Make damn sure than no species ever establishes itself.

 

That's just what the tree huggers want to hear, that boaters couldn't give a sh!t about anything but themselves.... :closedeyes:

 

You are truly lucky,I can't remember when we last had a sparrow in the garden. Tree Sparrows, Pheasants, Reed Bunting - 15 to 20 species a day but House Sparrows (and incidentally Starlings) not a sign

 

My mother did the recent RSPB Birdwatch and noted starlings at 100+... :closedeyes:

 

I know them as flying rats... :closedeyes:

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I was hoping that someone from WRG or from the Shropshire union canal society would be able to explain why a WRG workgroup could not finish the section from Redwith to Pryces bridge. Looking at the SUCS website the distance is 400 metres. Since 2008 200 yards has been completed. 100 metres per year!!! According to PETE's excellent Montgomery website there were 4 weeks planned last year but nothing seems to have happened. Why? This year nothing seems to have been scheduled. Why? I also note that the gates at Welshpool have been replaced and there are another two stoppages on the welshpool length which at this rate will not see boats for another 100 years!! Could they not have been repaired cheaply until navigation is nearer and the money spent increasing the navigable length. I am not a member of SUCS although have joined the Norbury to Newport community interest group as there seems to be an optimism that the people of Newport are keen for this to happen.

 

 

Carl

 

 

 

It has never been WRG's intention to restore the whole Montgomery canal single handedly. Their prime purpose is to demonstrate that it can be done by restoring stragegic lengths, with the hope that the local authorities will then take up the batton. The Mont has had at least its fair share of canal camps and work parties over the years and there are 101 other worthwhile canal restoration sites around the country that are demanding their time.

 

BTW, Not speaking on behalf of WRG here but as a volunteer who put in many hours on the Aston Locks length. I'll also hazard a guess that you are a boater who fancies criusing this length and have never taken up a shovel/wheelbarrow/brick trowel in anger... :closedeyes:

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That's just what the tree huggers want to hear, that boaters couldn't give a sh!t about anything but themselves.... :closedeyes:

 

 

I'm not sure that it matters what they hear.

 

The tree huggers have a one-track view of the world in which there can be no accomodation.

 

So, we should adopt a one track view. We won't do anything to harm endangered species that are there, but given the problems they cause us, we will do everything that we can to avoid accidentally creating a habitat for them.

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I would love this canal to Newport to reopen, but it will probably never start, as i've heard about it for years. Also if it does start it will only end up like the Monty and take forever, unfortunately I don't intend to live that long so i'd rather more money was spent maintaining the system that's still in water.

Casp'

 

Restoration grants usually come from different pot to maintenance funds. The Heritage Lottery Fund for example will pay for restoration. It won't fund new build or general maintenance... :closedeyes:

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