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Overgrown towpaths!!


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I don't know what other members think of our 'towpaths' if that is what they're supposed to be now.. but the overgrowth on most of the system is BAD. Even to try and find the 'Armco' to moor is a mission, firstly to find it... and secondly preferably with long sleeves as you run the risk of being stung by nettles... The only places that remotely look like what we were used to by the meaning of 'towpaths' is by bollard at locks.. oh, maybe a bit of clearance at visitor moorings for a couple of boats... I have sent my rant off to C&T but I'm not expecting much of a rely back or excuse as to why it is soooooo bad... Ok rant over ....mad.gif

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My experience of cruising is limited to say the least. It's been confined thus far to a week a year for the last three. I have also walked many canals but concede that I,m not really looking at ease of mooring when walking only without a boat to think about.

Which stretches of canal are you referring to?

In my experience of admittedly the more popular routes the ease to moore is great.

Edited by Burgiesburnin
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I don't know what other members think of our 'towpaths' if that is what they're supposed to be now.. but the overgrowth on most of the system is BAD. Even to try and find the 'Armco' to moor is a mission, firstly to find it... and secondly preferably with long sleeves as you run the risk of being stung by nettles... The only places that remotely look like what we were used to by the meaning of 'towpaths' is by bollard at locks.. oh, maybe a bit of clearance at visitor moorings for a couple of boats... I have sent my rant off to C&T but I'm not expecting much of a rely back or excuse as to why it is soooooo bad... Ok rant over ....mad.gif

Look on the bright side.

At least it will slow the speeding cyclists down biggrin.png

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I think it's much better being over grown, certainly cuts down on speeding cyclists. We're only too happy to chop down some vegetation to moor, After dropping the plank there usually isn't much left to do anyway.

 

DSCF3212_zps31f0fc97.jpg

 

This photo where we are now is actually quite open, just a short way up the cut the overgrowth is 8 f/t high in places.

 

DSCF3138_zps8203e415.jpg

 

Bearing in mind we're 60f x 10/6 wide beam, we got in pretty well here. We're behind the n/b furthest away. look carefully you might just make us out LOL

Edited by Julynian
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Not only does the overgrown towpath make seeing the edge hard, trying to drop the lock wheeler approaching a lock is nigh on impossible except right at the lock. You cannot come in to the side so they can step off as most of the growth is stinging nettles and in this weather dress code tends to be shorts, not a good mix. To add insult to stinging legs the long vegetation hides the offerings of our canine friends until you step on/kneel on/put you hand into when trying to find the armco to hook to. If when cutting the towpath they cut a few areas 100 yards/metres long every half mile or so it would really help, and still leave most of the path edge for wildlife. Maybe the organisers of the grass cutters have not seen ducklings trying to get out of the canal into the impenetrable growth, they become trapped in the canal, paddling like mad and quite frightened as a boat approaches. We have noticed there is a big difference between canals so some organisers are boater/duckling friendly and others not. One are I think on the Staffs & Worcester was so overgrown it was not possible to walk the path (without a machete) as the brambles had crossed from the hedge to the canal in many places. I do not know what the expected standard is but would agree with the OP that there is a problem. This year so far we have cruised over 250 miles in the midlands and would say 60% of the towpath is bad and 5% impossible.

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Let us pay;

Good Lord, preserve us from things that go bump in the night,

and from overmown towpaths.

 

Surprisingly enough the canals are not for the exclusive use of boaters. It's a public resource; that is how the Gov't was persuaded to fund BW in the first place and contribute some £30+ millions to CaRT.

 

CaRT has an extensive programme of towpath mowing, the difficulty is that as the mowing gang has passed the blurry things start growing again. Not only that, but if all towpaths were manicured the fishermen (who like to hide from their prey) and the tree huggers would complain vociferously - and they shout louder that boaters do.

 

I'm delighted (well, only slightly) that the Armco is obscured - it means that I can find somewhere to moor away from folks who are afraid of stinging nettles and Gunnera.

 

Amen

 

 

 

  • Greenie 1
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I don't know what other members think of our 'towpaths' if that is what they're supposed to be now.. but the overgrowth on most of the system is BAD. Even to try and find the 'Armco' to moor is a mission, firstly to find it... and secondly preferably with long sleeves as you run the risk of being stung by nettles... The only places that remotely look like what we were used to by the meaning of 'towpaths' is by bollard at locks.. oh, maybe a bit of clearance at visitor moorings for a couple of boats... I have sent my rant off to C&T but I'm not expecting much of a rely back or excuse as to why it is soooooo bad... Ok rant over ....mad.gif

Yes when we went through Audlem locks in June the vegitation was very high you could not see bollards at locks or moorings for locks. There was two accidents of people tripping over the unseen bollards, one a walker and one a boater, one taken to hospital by ambulanace - broken ankle. We did have our Boat number taken on three ocassions whilst going through the 15 locks by CRT staff, they said the grass was so long because the contractors had not set the cutters correctly.

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On a recent trip we cruised between Wheaton Aston and Great Haywood. The towpath was terrible in places but the locksides were so overgrown to the point of being dangerous. Chatting to CRT blokes doing work along there, they said the grass cutting etc.. was contracted out but they don't show up. If that is the case, it's pretty poor and a failure in duty of care to users by CRT.

Regards

Dan

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I'd rather CRT spent their limited funds on dedging canals and cutting back offside trees rather than wasting it on manicuring the towpaths, which just encourages dog walkers and their associated mess, and speeding cyclists.

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On a recent trip we cruised between Wheaton Aston and Great Haywood. The towpath was terrible in places but the locksides were so overgrown to the point of being dangerous. Chatting to CRT blokes doing work along there, they said the grass cutting etc.. was contracted out but they don't show up. If that is the case, it's pretty poor and a failure in duty of care to users by CRT.

Regards

Dan

Surely then the company contracted is in breach of contract.

And CRT should cancel the contract, and give it to another company

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To be fair a lot of tow paths are very overgrown where I am. Some trees and bushes are groen over the towpath and about a footaway from the cut, which is not a lot of space to get by safely

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Considering the budget for vegetation, trees etc is 10 million quid, I'd say someone's on a good earner for very little.

 

When you think about that, that works out to about £5,000 per mile of canal. For that kind of money the canal side should look like a golf course, not a weed patch. It makes you wonder whose friend has the landscaping maintenance contract.

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I don't know what other members think of our 'towpaths' if that is what they're supposed to be now.. but the overgrowth on most of the system is BAD.

 

So have you actually recently visited "most of the system" to be able to validate that statement ?

 

To give an alternate perspective, we have just completed the first week of what we plan to be a long trip out, and so far everywhere we have moored or worked through locks has been no worse than I remember it in the past.

 

That covers, (so far), parts of the Southern GU, Northern Oxford, Coventry, B&F, T&M and now the S&W.

 

I would argue that much of the system, (or at least bits where people routinely moor or work locks), isn't bad at all, although I'm of course not denying that some areas do have serious problems.

 

(My statement does not include offside trees, though - this really does seem to be a problem that is worsening).

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So have you actually recently visited "most of the system" to be able to validate that statement ?

 

To give an alternate perspective, we have just completed the first week of what we plan to be a long trip out, and so far everywhere we have moored or worked through locks has been no worse than I remember it in the past.

 

That covers, (so far), parts of the Southern GU, Northern Oxford, Coventry, B&F, T&M and now the S&W.

 

I would argue that much of the system, (or at least bits where people routinely moor or work locks), isn't bad at all, although I'm of course not denying that some areas do have serious problems.

 

(My statement does not include offside trees, though - this really does seem to be a problem that is worsening).

Think you will find the narrow section on the S & W just before Autherley Junction is quite bad ,not very good if you meet a boat coming the other way.

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I don't know what other members think of our 'towpaths' if that is what they're supposed to be now.. but the overgrowth on most of the system is BAD. Even to try and find the 'Armco' to moor is a mission, firstly to find it... and secondly preferably with long sleeves as you run the risk of being stung by nettles... The only places that remotely look like what we were used to by the meaning of 'towpaths' is by bollard at locks.. oh, maybe a bit of clearance at visitor moorings for a couple of boats... I have sent my rant off to C&T but I'm not expecting much of a rely back or excuse as to why it is soooooo bad... Ok rant over ....mad.gif

I made the same sort of comments on the 11th July...see under "The Veg Pledge".

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