Wales and the South West
On 20th October, I attended the CRT Wales User Forum, with six other users and three CRT folk, but unfortunately the Regional Director, Mark Evans, was down with another dose of Covid! Most of the meeting was taken up with long presentations about all the wonderful things CRT and others are doing on the Llangollen and on developments on the Montgomery and Swansea canals. There was a bit on the Mon & Brec, where my only input was regarding the problems with vegetation management – but, as we saw that week, at last that is underway. CRT staff admitted that they have had to revisit all their instructions to the subcontractors! But the low number of attendees at this Forum was depressing to say the least.
On 26th October, I represented NABO at Glandŵr Cymru’s (the Canal & River Trust in Wales) celebration of its 10th anniversary as guardian of the Welsh waterways, held at the very impressive Welsh Senedd in Cardiff. Of importance was an excellent and very supportive speech by the Welsh Minister for Climate Change, Julie James, who was supported by the Chairman of Glandŵr Cymru, and CRT's Richard Parry. Leading the event was Mark Evans, the Regional Director of CRT for Wales and the South West.
On the K&A, extensive winter work is underway, including the important second phase of upgrading the feed into the canal at the Crofton pumping station. Also dredging is now planned on the stretch around Hungerford – hopefully vegetation management will also take place soon!
The Broads and canals – they are not the same …
Mark Tizard is getting used to his new boating environment.
Hire craft on the Broads seem to have got larger and ever more sophisticated, with two decks. I wonder if the hire market has peaked, with prices ranging from £1300 to £3300 a week, with most at the upper end in the main holiday period. I have noticed an increasing last-minute availability of boats; a quick check shows many are still available to book. Hirers report now having to pay a fuel surcharge rather than getting money back from the deposit as in previous years.