Friday 2 July 2010

Canal Restoration

I have come across a few specialist "canal" forums on the internet which seem to have little content and not a great deal of activity going on within them. One such canal forum is Canal Restoration. The ethos behind this forum would seem to be quite good as a talking shop. Good for anyone interested in exchanging news and views with other people involved in the restoration and maintenance of our canal system. However, Canal Restoration the forum is not being promoted very well and might be pushing against the tide as there are other well established internet based information sources on canal restoration. A typical selection is listed below. Chosen at random they represent a selection of other alternative canal based restoration information sources. There are some links from one website to another supporting some limited cross fertilisation between different restoration groups.

Huddersfield Canal Society.
Ashby Canal Society.
The Lancaster Canal Partnership.
Sankey Canal Restoration Society.
Grantham Canal Society.

For a number of years I happily gave up quite a bit of my leisure time to help set-up a nature reserve. (Old Moor in Barnsley)

The River Dearne can be seen running diagonaly from bottom right to top left across the centre of the photograph. The Old Moor Nature reserve can be seen each side of the river.

Old Moor was a successful venture with money provided from Europe and was eventually taken over by the RSPB who continue to run it to this day. The biggest problem was always getting the right calibre of volunteer. Volunteers who are willing to get involved in developing and managing the habitat. This usually involved a good bit of physical work.

However, as I got longer in the tooth I eventually chose to hang up my wellies and my RSPB volunteer badge and settled for a more relaxed and easier lifestyle. I still go and visit for a few hours of bird watching. I have seen some rare visitor species such as the very exotic looking Hoopoo as well as Spoonbill, Little Egret and Stork.

I have just started reading Sheila Stewarts "Ramlin Rose" the story of a canal boat  family. Whilst "Rose" is not a real person the text is distilled from many conversation the author had with a number of real canal folk. I do enjoy reading canal based autobiographies and this book draws from many different individuals. With wonderful insight into a lost world.

I came across a new canal forum... called "CutConnect" today. Seems to be quite a new forum and in need of some support so I joined.

Today I am back at the salt mine, doing the day-to-day stuff that brings the pay check at the end of the month. However, now that the boat is much closer to our home mooring the weekend cannot come fast enough. Well the weather is too good to miss and the light nights are here.


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