We can­celled our mem­ber­ship over fo­liage clear­ance

Canal Boat - - Letters - TREVOR HUNTER

My wife and I live at the top of the Caen Hill flight and we moor our nar­row boat at Caen Hill ma­rina. We love the wa­ter­ways and con­sider our­selves very priv­i­leged to live where we do.

We walk our dogs daily on the tow­path and the de­vel­op­ing ju­bilee woods, en­joy­ing the wild life and tak­ing time to watch the king­fish­ers and nu­mer­ous bird life sup­ported by the trees and bushes around the feeder pounds (not open to nav­i­ga­tion) we have even had ot­ters.

Con­sider then how to­tally shocked and hor­ri­fied we were to­day to see that all these trees and bushes had been to­tally cleared.

We en­quired why this had been done and were given a flyer by the CRT man, who seems to be a per­ma­nent fix­ture by the cafe, which ex­plained that “as a des­ig­nated sched­uled mon­u­ment they are re­quired to main­tain and re­pair the site” and that his­tor­i­cally there were no trees around the ponds or locks.

We to­tally un­der­stand that these pounds need main­tain­ing and that the reed fringes are im­por­tant for the wa­ter voles but this seems some­what ex­treme and a waste of money. When the farm­ers and home­own­ers are be­ing en­cour­aged to make more habits for wildlife CRT seem more in­tent in de­stroy­ing it. Surely they could have pruned things back and ti­died up a bit to pro­tect the ma­sonry, this is so dras­tic.

Caen Hill Flight seems to be the ‘blue la­bel’ for the trust and does get a lot of tourists but they do spend a lot keep­ing the grass cut and pro­vid­ing raised beds in the car park, some­thing we joke about when try­ing to open a par­tic­u­larly dam­aged lock gate or swing bridge when we are out on the cut in our boat.

It doesn’t seem to mat­ter to CRT that many vis­it­ing boaters find the K& A un­de­sir­able and will never re­turn. As long as they have a his­tor­i­cally cor­rect flight of locks,(even if they don’t work that well) and nice flowerbeds who needs wildlife.

We have can­celled our “friends” mem­ber­ship to CRT we can’t be friends with peo­ple that be­have this way.

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