Tag Archives: Brecon Beacons

Canal News April 23 – A secret garden in Smethwick? – Mon & Brec to reopen

Canal News April 23

Could you help create a secret garden in Smethwick?

April 23Birmingham Canal Main Line

We’re calling for an army of local volunteers in Smethwick in the West Midlands to lend a hand and help us transform a once thriving nature trail along the Birmingham Main Line Canal back to its former glory.

The Galton Valley Nature Trail was once farmland and a haven for plants and insects. The area is now looking unloved and unwelcoming so local people living in Smethwick are being asked to help the charity, Canal & River Trust, to recreate this canal side community garden.
The volunteers will be helping to clear pathways and cut back vegetation, plant a whole host of wildlife loving plants as well as putting up bird and bat boxes in the trees and installing reed beds to help improve water quality. There are also plans to create a community orchard which, once established, could provide fresh fruit to the local community via the local food bank network.
Beauty spot
Peter Mathews CMG, chair of the west midlands waterways partnership for the Canal & River Trust, said: “The Galton Valley Nature Trail used to be beautiful and often you would spot bluebells and early summer raspberries poking through the trees and bushes. This part of the canal could once again be a really lovely beauty spot but we need help from local people to help us to revitalise this nature trail and attract more animals and insects back to this secret garden.
“We do have quite a bit of work to do and, where we have already made some small improvements, we have already noticed an increase in the amount of wildlife fluttering along the canal which was brilliant to see but more work needs to be done and we need everyone to muck in and help lend a hand.”
The next meeting is on Saturday 3 May from 10am – 3pm at the Smethwick Pumping House, B66 1BA.

Mon & Brec to reopen following major repairs

Mon & BrecMon & Brec repairs

A stretch of the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal will reopen to boats on 25 April, following around £1million of repairs to stabilise an embankment which had ‘slipped’ after it had become so saturated with rain over the wet winter period that it slumped down the hillside.

We’re installing almost 500 massive pins, each 10-15 metres long, along the canalside at Llanfoist in the Brecon Beacons. While the remainder of the canal has stayed open since work began in February, the full length of the waterway will now be navigable by boat for the first time this year, bringing a welcome boost to businesses in the area.
The final pins will be put in over the coming weeks, together with a mesh to secure them in place. New vegetation will be planted along the embankment to take the place of trees that had to be cut down to allow engineers to carry out the work. It is hoped that the towpath next to the affected stretch will reopen at the end of May; meanwhile walkers, cyclists and other towpath visitors can continue to use the canal thanks to a short diversion around the closed section.
Busy spring and summer
Vince Moran, operations director at Glandŵr Cymru, said: “We’re delighted to get the full length of the canal reopened in time for the busiest period of year. The Mon & Brec contributes millions to the local economy, so we hope this comes as good news for all those businesses who build their trade around a busy spring and summer.
“We saw unprecedented rainfall over the winter and it has required a major engineering project to repair the canal, with 500 pins effectively nailing the embankment back against the bedrock. We are pleased with how the work has gone and delighted that so many people have continued to visit the canal over the past two months. Now the navigation is open for business again we hope that even more people come and see one of the jewels of the canal system in the heart of the Brecon Beacons.”

Canal News – Fazeley Junction & Brecon Canal Aqueduct

Canal News

Fazeley Junction & Brecon Canal AqueductNew Charity LogoBirds on a shed

press release  Issued: 20 January 2014

 Canal junction transformed by giant kingfisher

The Midlands’ historic canal network has a striking new landmark after a giant kingfisher and robin appeared on a canalside wall in Tamworth.

The giant mural was created as part of a Canal & River Trust project to transform a run-down canal junction. The Trust has been working with volunteers for over a year to breathe new life into Fazeley Junction where the Coventry Canal meets the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal.

The junction was looking a bit tired until the Trust enlisted the help of its Tamworth Towpath Taskforce group of volunteers. The team quickly got to work tidying the junction, clearing litter, removing graffiti and putting up new fences. Over time the team hope to do even more and create a canalside garden.

To complement the team’s efforts local arts group New Urban Era have now created a wildlife-inspired mural on what used to be a graffiti blighted wall. The wall, which belongs to H & G Gould Timber Merchants, has been entirely repainted and detailed paintings of a kingfisher and robin added by freelance artist Steve Edwards.

Tom Freeland, volunteer coordinator for the Canal & River Trust said; “This is the culmination of a volunteer-led project to reclaim and restore busy Fazeley Junction for the benefit of the local community.  Over the last year, our volunteers have weeded, mulched, cleared rubbish, put up a new fence and removed graffiti from the site, and this mural will really set off their efforts.  We look forward to maintaining and enhancing it as we continue our plans to create the Junction Garden and if anyone wants to help us we’d love to hear from them.”

New Urban Era founder Vic Brown said; “We are delighted to have worked with the Canal & River Trust on this Fazeley project. Not only is the mural visually pleasing but also educates visitors about the wildlife that can be seen and heard along the regions canals and rivers. We hope the project will positively inspire the general public and further organisations to engage in the arts.”

The Tamworth Towpath Taskforce is open for anybody to turn up and join in. Activities take place every other Wednesday from 10am until 1pm. No experience is necessary and all equipment is provided. For more information contact Tom Freeland on 01827 252010 or go to www.canalrivertrust.org.uk/volunteer/ways-to-volunteer/towpath-taskforce

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5263PRESS RELEASE Issued: 20 January

 Vandalised Brecon aqueduct repaired

A Grade II listed aqueduct on the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal in Pontymoile has been repaired, after vandals caused thousands of pounds of damage by hurling its 200-year old stone masonry onto the banks of the Afon Lwyd below.

Glandŵr Cymru – the Canal & River Trust in Wales – has invested £45,000 in the project, which also restored 19th century railings on either side of the aqueduct and gave engineers the chance to repair long term damage caused by growing ivy and tree roots. The work took over four weeks, having started just before Christmas.

David Viner, heritage advisor at Glandŵr Cymru, said: “We’re really pleased to get these repairs done. The damage appeared quite blatant. We suspect some larrikins hurled sections of the masonary onto the banks below, and quite a bit was carried off down the river. It just shows how much this sort of stupidity can end up costing.

“Because of the age of the aqueduct, and the Grade II listed status, it was specialist work. The location, effectively suspended above the river, also meant that quite a lot of effort had to go into getting the engineers in a safe position to do the job. The aqueduct is a very important piece of Welsh waterway heritage, so it’s great to see it back in top condition.”

The Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal is a 35-mile canal that runs through the Brecon Beacons and dates back over 200 years.