Firstly an apology: due to completely unforeseen circumstances, some of the Dragonfly magazines went out last week without the promised Draw tickets inside. I am very sorry about this - I know some of you will be as disappointed as I was, as this is a great chance to support the Trust. I am very happy to send out tickets to anyone who lets me know on firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning the office on 0845 2268567 (leave a message if no-one there). This year every penny of the profits will go to Restoration and the top prize in the draw is £500.
Work on the restoration at Studley Grange is progressing now and we will shortly be putting up an Interpretation Board on the fence at Chaddington Lane Bridge to explain the project. Kate Jones, who is working on the Community Engagement part of the project, has contacted local schools and groups and is busy compiling a list of interested parties who would like to be involved. This involvement ranges from making and putting up bird and bat boxes, to planting trees, hedgerow whips and wild flowers and to just visiting a peaceful place. We are also working with Friends of the Earth who will be advising on planting bee-friendly plants and putting up “bee hotels” and with Wiltshire Wildlife Trust who we hope will help us design a trail for young people to discover wild life and birds. We now have a dedicated email address for the project: email@example.com so get in touch.
Canal & River Trust (CRT) and the Restoration Committee of the Inland Waterways Association(IWA) have jointly issued a questionnaire to all canal restoration societies in England and Wales (and there are a lot!). It is a Review of Waterway Restoration and Restoration Opportunities which has not been done for 10 years. It will give an insight into the scale of the task ahead and will enable CRT and IWA to explore issues around the potential value of schemes to regeneration and development. It will enable them to put the best possible case to communities, local and national government, sponsors and funders for the support of waterway restoration. For the Wilts & Berks it is a massive task to collate all the structures, locks, bridges etc and record their current state, but when done will give us a much clearer idea of what we have to do to re-open this fabulous waterway.