An excerpt from Wind in the Willows

Nice? It's the ONLY thing, said the Water Rat solemnly, as he leant forward for his stroke. Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING - absolute nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing, he went on dreamily: messing - about - in - boats; messing----'
From 'Wind in the Willows' by Kenneth Grahame.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Volunteering for the National Trust

Taking down the old fence
One of the things I do to bring order to my week is to volunteer for the National Trust on the River Wey (technically the River Wey and Godalming Navigations).

The peaceful environment in which we work
We do all sorts of things from clearing the invasive Pennywort - the stuff that weighs a ton and grows at the speed of light it seems, clearing undergrowth, filling in dog holes, litter-picking *, painting the locksides (not forgetting the cill markers) and latterly putting up a fence.

The pictures were taken at Walsham Gates (a turf-sided set of double flood gates with telegraph poles for balance beams on the upper gates).

Walsham Gates
Mostly we look after the stretch of the Wey from Pyrford Lock to Thames Lock (junction with the Thames) but occasionally we work on other sections.

I meet lots of new and interesting people, other boaters and get out in the fresh air - very fresh recently.  The photos are of last Wednesday (28-March-2012) when we took down a rather crumbling old fence and put up a new one.

The Wey is a lovely waterway in a lovely county but sadly, this year, experiencing the same water difficulties as elsewhere on the network.

The new fence going up
* My friend Brian (NB Orion's Wey) and I litter-picked between Coxes and New Haw Locks (about a mile) a week or so ago.  We collected five large bags of rubbish.  Most of the rubbish seemed to us to be fishermen related (tins of Sweet Corn and the like) but the one thing that horrified us was the number of bags of dog 'poo' just thrown into the undergrowth.  Why the dog owners take the time to pick up the stuff and then throw it away in a plastic (biodegradable?) bag is quite beyond me.  We spoke to a number of dog walkers who complained that there were no bins to put their dog 'poo' in.  We pointed out that someone would need to pay for the bin and then pay to have the contents removed on a regular basis - why, we asked, could they not take the little plastic bags home and dispose of them themselves - nobody could answer that question.  The reason they throw the bags away is, I believe, just laziness and it appalls me.

A friend who moors close to me sent me a link to this picture - I think it says it all.

1 comment:

  1. Here's what you need:-

    Nice to read your background to boating.

    I can only see the mast to that wherry in the background - when do we get to see the rest of it?