Improving the flow.

My thanks to Bath Newseum regular Sally Helvey for photographing some work underway on the Kennet and Avon Canal earlier today.

Apparently, there is a major dredging operation going on involving people from the Canal and River Trust.

According to their Notices and Stgoppages web page:

Please be advised that we will be dredging between Weston Lock and Bath Tunnel No. 1, to improve the Navigation and help water conservation in the short lock pounds of Bath Flight. Working practices have been amended in accordance with the current Government coronavirus guidelines, to enable work to proceed.

The Navigation and towpath will remain open, though boaters may incur short delays. Towpath users are requested to pass works with care, follow the advice of the crew and observe social distancing as necessary.

© Sally Helvey

I also spoke to Ian Herve  – who is Vice-Chair of the Bath and Bristol branch of the  Kennet and Avon Canal Trust – and he told me:

‘That’s the dredging team. Looks like the barge that takes the dredging down to be spread beyond Newbridge.  They have an agreement to put it through a screen before spreading it on the fields at the A36/A4 Turnpike.

They removed in excess of 1,000 lbs of fish beforehand. Eel up to 2lb, carp to 9lb, and pike to 4lb. They were transferred upstream.
They took 330 tons (Not Tonnes) out removing the Weston sandbank.
It is completed on the first two pounds of the Widcombe Flight and is due to finish mid-July.’
Ian, and all the other volunteers, were stood down when the virus hit but he says some volunteer lock keepers may go back to work soon.
© Sally Helvey
The CRT has issued advice for people using the towpath.
‘Our towpaths are open for you to exercise and be outdoors, closer to nature. We want you to enjoy your local canal or river, but please follow the government’s advice on social distancing at all times. Keep your distance from both other people and moored boats, where people may be living aboard and could be self-isolating or shielding.’
Meanwhile, my thanks again to Sally Helvey for the pictures.
Sally is a private tour guide who has a Facebook page called Bath with Sally – City Secrets.