Sunday, 30 July 2017

A green and pleasant waterway

 If you regularly follow this blog you will know that we currently have our boat in Birmingham  and we are now just starting a few exploratory cruises from our moorings close to Brindley Place. 
We certainly have plenty of choice of where to go, so this week mindful of the weather forecast we started off with a half day cruise. If you are involved in a restoration project like me you could easily think Birmingham is spoilt - that famous statistic that it has more canals than Venice is supported by the fact that the original Birmingham Mainline was a 'contour canal' winding its way taking the easiest 'flat' route. To speed up the journey time a new canal was built to iron out the curves on a straight line to Dudley and beyond  but leaving the old canal too. So we took advantage of this to make a circular route out on the 'new' in its deep cutting  and built so straight you could set the boat on cruise control and return on the old -up 3 locks and down again. As a new visitor what I think surprised me most was how green canal corridor is with so much open space and wildlife within in  a mile or so of the city centre.

and no shortage of herons with their shy please don't take a picture of me attitude 
Not to say that all of the journey was in a country park - on the old line there is the small matter of the M5 - I wonder how many of the millions who travel above  realise what is under their feet.
Meanwhile on the home front I have just spent the week working on expanding the audio trail for the Wilts & Berks so look out (or should that be listen out) for news soon.

Ken Oliver

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