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SUMBA WORK PARTY - February Update


Work Party - Saturday February 18th

To support CRT's recent application for Green Flag Status for the Middlewich Branch Canal seventeen of our volunteers visited the area between Stanthorne Lock and Clive Green Bridge 24. The project was to remove significant overhanging vegetation and tree branches from the towpath and offside, including at Stanthorne Lock and bridge accesses to the towpath.

Splitting into three teams -

Team One - used workboat 'Gowy' to cut back dense offside bushes between Normans Bridge 26 and Hughes Bridge 25.
Team Two - cut back the towpath vegetation between bridges 25 and 26, including ivy obstructing access from bridge 25 to the towpath, and tree branches overhanging the canal.
Team Three - worked between Stanthorne Lock and bridge 26 clearing ivy and blackthorn obstructing the lock's towpath and then cutting down numerous branches that were overhanging the towpath and the canal.

A litter pick was also completed - the pity was that we had cleared litter from this area only last month!

Future Work Parties
Project - Cholmondeston & Minshull Locks
Dates - Saturday Mar 18th
Time - From 9:30am to mid pm Meet At - Aqueduct Marina
We will be preparing both lock sites and surrounding areas ready for painting in June. Plus erecting fence at Minshull Lock and reinstating sunken towpath at Cholmondeston Railway Bridge 5a.

Spring/Summer Maintenance
Saturdays - April 18th - May 20th - June 17th - July 15th - Aug 19th - Sept 16th - Oct 21st
Time - From 9:30am to mid pm Meet At - To be advised


2016/17 Autumn/Winter Hedge Laying Project

Not resting on their laurels with second place in the 2016 Living Waterways Awards with last year's hedge opposite Venetian Marina, our "tree huggers" are currently laying the hedge above Cholmondeston Lock. With February's improved weather work has accelerated and over 125 metres have now been completed. During March's final two visits this year whips will be planted to help thicken some areas of the hedge.

Future Hedge Laying Work Parties
Dates - March Monday 13th & Thursday 23rd
Time - 9:30am to mid pm. Meet At - Cholmondeston Lock

Pre Planned Maintenance - PPM
At the request of CRT we have commenced helping with their ongoing monthly Pre Planned Maintenance on the 10 miles of the Middlewich Branch canal between Wardle Lock and Barbridge Junction. February's work was located between Stanthorne and Wardle Locks and included greasing and oiling the locks' infrastructure, checking the safe operation of the equipment and clearing vegetation that was blocking or trapped in by-washes, weirs and overflows. In addition we removed a substantial amount of brash that the residents at the Wardle Lock cottage had cut back from the lock's offside.


Dora's Windy Visit To Minshull Lock


As a result of Dora's strength on Thursday February 23rd, two 20' x 20' corrugated zinc building panels, each with two 20'x8"x4" timbers attached, embedded themselves in the canal near the moorings below Minshull Lock. The panels had blown through a 15' high hedge from a collapsed building in the adjacent pig farm. SUMBA volunteers attended the site, recovered floating timbers, and hazard taped around the obstruction on the towpath. Whilst the panels were embedded in the canal some distance from the towpath, due to clear sight lines approaching the hazard it was not considered necessary to close the canal. CRT's team members cleared the site the next day.


SUMBA @ Venetian Marina's Tea Room


Last December we installed a SUMBA branded table in Venetian Marina's Tea Room below Cholmondeston Lock with a map of our adopted 5 1/2 miles from Barbridge Junction to Bridge 15 at Church Minshull. This month we have added a second table which explains with photos some of the canal's history - towpath breaches, trans shipment warehouse at Barbridge, clay pit at Sykes Hollow and the steam engine haulage experiment.
One table is by the fire and the other in the corner by the window. Each table has details of our website, facebook group and email address.
Call in and enjoy the Tea Room's reasonably priced and very popular breakfasts, lunches, snacks - or just try some scrumptious cakes and tray bakes.
Venetian Marina Tea Room's Facebook page - http://tinyurl.com/j9389up


To Find Out More About Volunteering With SUMBA
Website - www.sumbavolunteers.org/home.html
Email - [email protected]
Facebook Group - www.facebook.com/groups/Sumbacanal