The disintegrating towpath

Wendover Parish Council is receiving a lot of complaints about the state of the towpath along from Wharf Road to Walnut Tree Meadow. This has been reported to the Canal and River Trust on several occasions and on Monday 21 July told them that the issue had got worse after the recent heavy rain. They have sent us this response and are happy for it to be circulated:

We can confirm we are aware of this issue which is caused by a combination of two factors. The first being the fact that the flow of water entering the feeder from the Wendover Springs is significantly higher than it would normally be at this time of year, due to the heavy rainfall over the later summer and winter which has led to high ground water levels. The second and more significant factor is that the vegetation within the canal has grown at an unprecedented rate due to the warm and wet spring.

The vegetation is restricting flow and causing the level to build up. We have issued an instruction to our vegetation management contractor to clear a channel through the centre of the vegetation in order to restore the flow. This should be undertaken within the next couple of weeks at which time the water levels will reduce.

We also have some work planned to improve the bank protection at Wendover and these will be completed later this summer.

Wendover Arm Trust has also been in constant communication with Canal and River Trust concerning the flooding. A typical response from several weeks ago:

We believe the vegetation is a big factor but despite the cutting of reeds/weeds every winter the warm and mild weather has caused them to grow at an accelerated rate. Unfortunately the channel has a high proportion of nesting birds and so legally we are not permitted to cut anything although we are looking at other alternatives.

Where water levels are high we are doing everything we can to dispose of the excess water and taking into account the need to protect the neighbouring land and property.

If you would like to volunteer with Wendover Arm Trust, click here