Sunday 30 September 2012

Nothing but rain, rain, rain and floods!!!!!!

Last Sunday evening it started to rain hard and this continued for 24hrs and through to the next day but little did I know that this was only the beginning of a wet week. So on Tuesday Afternoon we went for a walk by the canal and when we walked around past one of the flashes on a corner by the canal Towpath we filmed this and compared to a different part of the canal I think we got off lightly.

Filmed on Iphone by me

Filmed by Northwich Guardian- Canal breaches and breaks it's bank

As the week continued we checked out the impending breach after the rain stopped and found a tree collapsed over the towpath blocking view of the other side. We cleared the path for the Trust as they could not see the other side due to the fallen tree blocking the path so we were quite safe as there is about 10 metres of towpath and its mainly the dirt bank that's gone.
The river runs alongside and the towpath is pretty sturdy there and the reason the bank became so eroded was that tree roots were dislodged and ripped the river bank off but there is a sandy bank below and a large flat plain which absorbed the water but it only did for a day and stopped and the trust put in planks it might it worse. The canal was open at this point and I kayak alot in the area for filming the various water birds and Otters in the area and there has always been a big puddle there but I have never seen it that bad and it's just after the flash around the bend.
The issues are where there is a high bank on the canal and the thin path between the drop down to the river.
Mainly where the river runs alongside the canal
As you can see there is alot of weak spots on the Trent and Mersey canal but as it's been shut off and you cannot access it on the Towpath I have found another way round via the farmland that I have been allowed access to by the local farmer.
The flash was a part of the farmers field that flooded and the canal and river trust don't own it the wildlife use the area of the flash as it's a quiet area for wildlife to get away from people. One major thing that would be effected is a protective species that relies on the flash for feeding and breeding but I cannot say here. The area maybe small but it's a wildlife haven and the number of species that would be disrupted by boats being diverted near to the reed beds and waters edge would be hugely impacted especially in the summer months if any major work goes ahead.

I am no engineer but  I think it's easier if they raise the edging stones at this corner which would divert any rising water further down the canal to where it can flow down into the river and do minor repairs on the river bank using limestone to support and bulk up the bank as it worked on an area upriver which has stopped any future erosion when flooding happens on the river plus it seems like a cheaper and quicker way to solve any future issues like at the breach near Northwich. 

Luckily my area of kayaking is unaffected and I can still access it for filming and conservation but I will be keeping an eye on the area near the Middlewich works to make sure the area's wildlife is unaffected and as I think Cuckoos and Bitterns are using the reed beds here especially in the summer but yet to film or photograph I think I have heard one booming there over the past few months.

Thanks for reading


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