Chris Hart, Property Services Manager of King Edwards Wharf (KEW) had appealed for volunteers on using posters produced by Shakela Farid, KEW Development Manager, and displayed on local apartment notice boards and also a recent post on this website added to this.
By 10:10 am all volunteers who had previously offered their help assembled on the towpath and listened to some guidance before beginning work.
Steve, a Canal & River Trust man in charge of local canal projects using volunteers, briefly advised the assembled.
He had arrived armed with picks, forks and spades, refuse sacks, and the local canal utility boat to cart away filled sacks of weeds.
Whilst not trying to tell people how to clear the weeds he did warn of possible dangers encountered during such work. These were:
- work on different areas so as not to spear your work colleague with a fork!
- needles which he said should be reported to him but not touched (none were found!)
- speeding cyclists – he said anyone spotting one approaching should shout bike! and volunteers should react and move out of the way very quickly!
He then covered how the over grown verge would be cultivated in the coming year or so. This is:
Stage 1: Today -clearing of weeds and brambles.
Stage 2: Spring 2017 – wait for new growth of weeds then eliminate with weed killer.
Stage 3: Spring 2017- plant wild flowers.
Stage 4: Autumn 2017- mow the flowers to enable planting of spring bulbs.
Result: Spring 2018 there would be a wonderful display of daffodils, crocuses, etc, and wild flowers continuing through the summer.
Everyone then set out to work energetically. I’ve rarely seen such commitment and enthusiasm to get the job done by 1 pm.
Having said that there was no pressure – people were able to do their own thing, work at their own comfortable pace and rest when they needed it. So, a totally stress-free event.
The event also created much friendly banter amongst what are locality neighbours.
By 11:45 mission was accomplished and I took a group photo. This and other photos of people at work are shown in the Galleries below.
Article and photography by Geoff Caine
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Gallery below shows what was achieved.
What a brilliant job was done!
All praise to the those lovely people who devoted their Saturday morning to this for the benefit of all!
Gallery below shows the volunteers at work.
Please excuse my attempts at humour in the captions.