Report on South Wales and Severn Autumn Forum: 17th October 2016

Held in The Old Rectory at Llangattock, alongside the Mon & Brec canal, this well-attended meeting concentrated largely on the very extensive winter work programme that will effectually close the canal from November until Easter next year.

Of special importance is that much of this work will be funded by a Welsh Government grant of over £2million in recognition of the important role the canal plays in both attracting visitors to South Wales as well as supporting the health and well-being of the local communities. The work will continue to address the on-going problems of water loses as well as a range of maintenance issues on this beautiful but extremely fragile waterway.

It was good to see one of CRT’s new Trustees, Nigel Annett, at this meeting, as well as a member of the Partnership. They will have been impressed by the active programme being pursued by CRT aimed at encouraging local community engagement with the canal and its associated infrastructure. An example of the latter has been the extensive volunteer-led work being undertaken in clearing and exposing the many lime kilns found at sites along the canal – a major part of the history of this once commercially-successful waterway.

The meeting ended on a very sad note, noting the recent death of Brian Forder, who, with his wife Helen on their boat Tamarisk, has been cruising on the Mon & Brec for many years. Brian has quietly, but firmly, represented the interest of both NABO members and other boaters in the Cambrian Marina, on every possible occasion. A very popular authority on the waterway, and active member of the Mon & Brec Canal Trust, Brian will be so missed by all.

Mike Rodd