The first draft of the Wilts & Berks contribution to the CRT/IWA national survey of waterway restorations is currently being checked and verified before being submitted. The purpose of the survey is to capture what is the scale and value of waterway restoration, to see what progress has been made since the last report by IWAAC in 2006, and to assess the current status of each project. The statistics of the Wilts & Berks are not for the faint hearted! – 78 locks to be built, 163 bridges ... overall a cost in excess of £300m to fully restore the waterway. We know we will not do it all at once but the strategy of restoring discrete sustainable sections with what is called in the survey a ‘meanwhile use’ seems to be very sound.
One significant meanwhile use is a trip boat and it is gratifying to see the new landing stage at Waitrose in Swindon is having a significant effect in boosting passenger numbers. It is now becoming a priority to seek funding for another boat and choose a suitable location to run it
Weather permitting the next few weeks will see very obvious progress at Studley Grange. The schedule has significant excavations at the eastern end (Butterfly World) by the start of September.
WBCT is moving forward with the significant management change proposals with the intention of consulting as many members of the Trust as possible before the AGM. Meetings are being arranged with branches where possible, and we are planning on holding extra ‘non-branch’ meetings for those members who are not affiliated to branches, or cannot get to their branch meeting.
Otherwise as you can tell from the grey skies its holiday time so business as usual we hope will resume in September!