We cancelled our membership over foliage clearance
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.