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Volunteer work party - 24/3/2015

I was expecting to write this up as a report of our second work party, but technically it is our third. After clearing so much vegetation last month a couple of us went back a week later to have a huge bonfire. I can see this becoming a regular pattern as again this month we cut down more than we could burn in a day!

This month the clearance of the junction area was completed and we started to work along the line of the canal. This section has so many bushes that progress appears quite slow if you were to look at a map but is massively different when looking at the site. The view from the towpath of the Trent and Mersey Canal to the centre of Burslem has now been revealed and you can start to get a sense of the junction as a destination.

The group from the local Towpath Taskforce continued their tree clearance beside the canal. They seemed determined to use bowsaws on anything less than about a foot in diameter - serious dedication - but there are just a few that will need Rob (our trained chainsaw operator) to take out at a later date.

[img_assist|nid=178|title=Hilary (with carpet!) and Kate|desc=|link=node|align=right|width=320|height=240]Kate from CRT restoration team also came along this time. We're working with her on an interpretation project at the moment so there was lots to talk about whilst tackling the job at hand. Hilary told us that after the work party last month she had collapsed into a chair and not moved so definitely wasn't going to overdo it this month. Hmm, that would explain the large carpet you dragged from the undergrowth then!

Meanwhile Wojciech had found a shopping trolley and spotted what looked like a washing machine at the bottom of the slope but we couldn't get down to remove it. Why do people go to such extraordinary lengths to dispose of things that could much more easily go to the waste recycling site in Burslem? We're building quite a pile of junk for CRT to take away by boat!

The day flew by and even a few sharp showers didn't dampen the enthusiasm of our group. By lunchtime the sun was out and it stayed out for the rest of the day. The pile of vegetation was getting bigger as the bonfire couldn't keep up so by the end of the day there was still a huge amount that will need to be tackled the next time we are here.

It was great to have a new face from just a couple of streets away join us this time as well as all the volunteers from last month. We are clearly being noticed by the community, which is very reassuring. If anyone else wants to join us next month (especially if they're good at lighting and taking care of bonfires!) the help would be much appreciated. We will be back on April 28th. There was a discussion about running a weekend work party as well as the weekday one as this would suit some people better. Please let us know if this is of interest to you.

Steve Wood
Work party leader

[img_assist|nid=179|title=Volunteers at Burslem Port - 24th March 2015|desc=|link=none|align=none|width=960|height=720]
The huge pile of cuttings to the right of the picture almost completely blocks the view of the canal!