As summer approaches, the number of boat movements increases, as does the drawdown on reservoirs. The mix of dry sunny spells and wet periods during March meant that overall rainfall was near average for the month. However, there were regional variations, and the north-west had over 140% of long-term average (LTA) rainfall, but a large area of the south-east saw less than 70% of LTA. The Easter weekend saw marked increases in boating and consequent lock usage, and reservoir drawdown was evident across the system, with all but one reservoir group showing a reduction in the volume of stored water.
CRT have just issued a press release on the results of thier annual national boat count. This shows that licence evasion on its waterways has reduced by 0.7% overall in the past year to 3.7%, with 96.3% of boats holding up-to-date licences. This is the eighth year the rate has stayed below 5%.
You can read the full text here.
‘Bring Out Another Thousand’
NABO Chair Stella Ridgway gets ready for some springtime maintenance
Spring has finally sprung here in the Peak District: the birds are busy building nests; the wild garlic is sprouting; lambs are being born and the ducks and geese are mating loudly. My daffodils opened this week, the sun shone, and for the first time this year we didn’t need to put the engine on to charge the batteries as the solar panels had enough sunlight to charge them. We have noticed an increase in boats passing as folks take their boats out for a weekend cruise or start a spring journey. This is the time of year that the boat gets a good spring clean, although I am still waiting for the mud to dissipate before clearing the floor and scrubbing it. Muddy towpaths and dogs equal a constantly muddy floor and I have been pushing the mud around the floor all winter. We have two Labradors who love swimming, so towels to dry them off are constantly drying, no matter what the weather.
The National Inland Navigation Forum (NINF) met at the St. Pancras Cruising Club on 25th February, with eight of its eleven member organisations represented. This forum continues to be a useful meeting point, bringing together navigation bodies involved in the waterways.
The General Secretary, Michael Stimpson, reported that the forum’s finances were sound and he was unanimously re-appointed to his position.