Vegetation Watch

My summer cruise started late this year and I was surprised that the most common complaint from fellow boaters has been about the state of vegetation. I wasn’t expecting this because in my immediate area (Alrewas & Fradley) control has been much better than previous years.

However, once boating down the Coventry Canal below Fradley Junction I came across several sections where bamboo growth has reached the point where either visibility has been compromised and/or the width available for navigation is an issue. Sooner or later boats will collide in these black spots.

Beyond Glascote Locks there are several places that are impeded by overgrown trees on the offside that threaten to scratch paint work and sweep roofs clean and when passing other boats there is a risk that one boat will be forced aground. When approaching bridge 67 be aware that for boats travelling south visibility of the bridge hole is very restricted by a overhanging willow tree.

Several boaters commented on low water levels, particularly on the Ashby – I haven’t got that far yet so can’t speak from firsthand experience. By and large these are issues that will be noticed by boaters more than other users and it occurs to me that those of us with smart phones could easily report them to CRT.  Start by sending sightings to this website or better to the  Waterwaywatch Twitter account and I will endeavour to make sure they get to the right person.

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1 comment to Vegetation Watch (posted whilst cruising)

  • Will Chapman

    The rumours about low water levels on the Ashby Canal were unwarranted. We had no trouble averaging 3mph on to Shackerstone, without any noticable probelm with water levels. Having said that, Quidditch only draws 27″ so deeper draughted boats might have issues but the visual evidence of waterlevels at mooring sites suggested nothing too untoward.

    The state of vegetation was good to excellent – there was bamboo present but it was under control. THere was a good balance of okaces to moor and healthy growth of waters-edge plant. We ere particularly impressed with the number of butterflys (small cabbage whites?) that were attracted to stands of purple flowers (which we have never noticed before) and sitings of water voles. We were also able to moor up near the Shackerstone site without difficulty despite the presence of reeds.

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