Latton Basin

Restoration Society

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Work party log.

        Wilts & Berks Canal Trust have ceased to recognise Latton Basin as a Heritage project and have withdrawn their support.  This means that they have not renewed our lease and have withdrawn our Insurance cover.

       A further complication was the sale of the land by the Co-Op to Farmcare and a susequent change of land agent.

      All is not completely lost.  Thec Wessex Waterways Restoration Trust have adopted us as a project and we are currently waiting the new land agent to grant us permission to resume work.

Doug Small


20th June 2018
Work has continued somewhat erratictally over the last few months, due mainly to the weather conditions. But progress is still being made.  Not only are the Basin and canal bed looking very good, but at the far end the aqueduct over the River Churn has been cleared.  As well as making the area much more pleasent for visitors this is providing a lot of useful information about the structure.

15th February 2018
The first workparty of the year.  The surrounding ground is still very waterlogged and everywhere is very muddy.  We continued clearing the towpath hedge line and had a general tidy up until heavy hailstone deluge stopped play

The Wednesday team have been clearing the overgrowth from the old Churn aqueduct site and it is looking very intersting down that end. We hope to clear the area properly and provide some benchs for the walkers.

26th October 2017
Everything OK this month. Mince Pies (thanks John) and chocolate biscuits.
Although the day was damp and overcast we had a very productive day clearing the site and having a general tidy up. We also had our last ever (for the foreseeable future) bonfire, because a few days later I was sent a rather belated letter from WBCT, stating that Farmcare have banned, for safety concerns, all bonfires on their sites.  We will, of course, abide by this decision.

28th September 2017
Nearly a disaster!!! I forgot the chocolate biscuits.
But the situation was salvaged by the box of individual lemon drizzle cakes that my wife had baked and had sent along.
After missing our August workparty under the instructions from on high, the 'boys' worked hard to salvage the situation. The excessive growth of grass and weeds was tackled with gusto and the whole area is now looking very good again.  If we had missed another month then I'm not sure we would have coped.  Plans have been made to erect Heras fencing around the aquaduct and this should be done in October.  There are now five rampant chickens guarding the Basin, and attempting to steal our sandwiches.

17th August 2017
At the very last moment, after the reminder had been emailed, the WBCT Executive issued an instruction for the August workparty to be cancelled.  The reason being that the engineering committee had raised concerns that it had not carried out a structural survey of the area (nearly a month after they had attended a Trustee meeting which gave support to the project and had not raised the issue then.)  We are all in favour of this survey going ahead ASAP, but cannot understand how this prevents us carrying out our maintenance of the canal bed and towpath, which is basically grass cutting!! Missing just one month will mean that there will be even more work next time for our small team. The Trust need to sort this issue out before there are any heavy winter rains as it is essential that there are no obstructions blocking the water flow under the aqueduct.

13th July 2017
A good turnout on a very pleasant day.  Although still restricted to basic maintenance we managed to find plenty to do, including recovering some large tree sections from the River Churn that our local youths had seen fit to dump in it. The Basin and canal bed are looking extremely fine at present. We were even treated to a mini airshow from Fairford.

16th June 2017
With the embargo still on any major works, the 'boys' concentrated on mowing, strimming and generally tidying up. The Basin, canal bed and towpath now look the best they ever had. The recent donation from Wayland Estates means that we have enough funding for consumables (petrol, oil etc.) and equipment maintenance and repairs to keep us going until next year.  We will be at the Cricklade Town Festival on Sunday 18th June and hopefully sign up some more volunteers.

18th May 2017
Another productive day; the weather being very kind to us after the previous days downpour. We were pleased to have a visit from one of the Natural England volunteers for North Meadow, who complimented us on the clearance work we had done, especially around the old River Churn aqueduct.  This, he said, made his task of removing the invasive Himalayan balsam much easier.

13th April 2017
A bright, chilly but dry day. Continuing work down the far end of the canal has resulted in that the site over the old River Churn aqueduct is now a much more pleasant area for walkers.  The hover mower was taken for a trip in the Basin, and it almost looking like a bowling green. We were also pleased to see several visitors.
Work is now progressing on Weymoor Bridge with two consecutive WRG work camps.

16th March 2017
An interesting start to the day; the Jewson lorry, which had just delivered a load of engineering bricks and cement (paid for by the Red Lion Charity) was stuck on the track.  He eventually made it out after Vince had shovelled several barrow loads of ballast under the wheels.  The problem was that although the ground appeared firm, it was still very soggy under the grass.
The area around the old aqueduct over the River Churn, down at the far end of our canal bed, is now looking very tidy and much more pleasant for walkers.  It is a pity that the Wiltshire footpaths team don't maintain the path leading up to the bridge.

16th February 2017
Off we go again; first work party of 2017 and we are off to a good start.  Only a few of the regular team, but a great deal was achieved. Not only was the area around the collapsed aqueduct over the River Churn cleared down to the river, but we also completely emptied the cabin in order to install new shelving. The old cupboards were well passed their sell by date.  The early spring clean allowed us to clear out a lot of surplus and unusable material and re-stack everything back neatly.

15th December 2016
Our last work party of 2016. A cold, but dry, day. which meant we could carry on clearing down the far end of the canal bed in preparation for next year when we intend scrub bashing the remains of the River Churn aqueduct.