IWA Volunteers active in Westover

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IWA volunteers have clocked up hours of community work over the past few months.

Volunteers from the Inland Waterways Association have been stepping up their activities in the Westover ward in recent months and were out again in force recently Volunteer co-ordinator Mike Slade has sent us this report.

IWA Volunteer Group has been undergoing ‘hands on’ training with some power hand tools.This will enable us to do more work in keeping the canal and towpath clear of excess vegetation collecting rubbish. On October 25th we carried out a session painting the railings on the far side of the inner basin at Bridgwater Docks putting in a total of 35 hours on the day

On November 19th, we had a great turnout of IWA WCB Volunteers together with additional Volunteers-employees who were engaged in an Environment initiative from the Bridgwater and Taunton Branches of Lloyd’s Bank. As a result of this large turnout it was possible to spilt up and carry out work at four different locations along the canal in Bridgwater between the Docks and Old Taunton Road Bridge.

Cleaning up the canal towpath

The volunteers carried out foliage cutting,litter picking the towpaths and footpaths,painting some of the dockside equipment.They also engaged in planting a quantity of flower bulbs, which were a donation from Westover ward councillors, on a site adjacent to the canal towpath at this location following a poll of sites of by Westover residents.

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Some of the rubbish extracted from the canal and along the banks by volunteers

We also managed to clear accumulated rubbish from the canal including two shopping trolleys which belonged to the near by super store.Traffic cones and pushchair were also extracted

We had planned the day so the Volunteers could choose from these activities and they were also able take part in more than one activity throughout the day as they wished.

On Saturday 29th November following some training and instruction in the use of power hand tools by Mark Betson and Ian Powdrill, both members of the CRT Local team, we proceeded to carry out a deep cut of the excess vegetation along the towpath from Newtown Lock towards the Victoria Road Bridge. This work was followed up by volunteers using secateurs so as to avoid cutting hawthorn plants which were still loaded with lots of red berries leaving the birds and wild life here a chance to enjoy eating them.

Volunteers planted another 50 of the daffodil bulbs donated by Westover councillors and we managed to complete around a third of this stretch and in total the 9 volunteers clocked up 33.5 work party hours.

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IWA volunteers on the (Westover side of) the Docks next to their new HQ