IWA Northampton Branch

5 June 2023

Here at IWA Northampton Branch our volunteers keep our canal environment ready for all users, and we’re ready for the Summer, hoping lots of people enjoy some good weather along the canal.

Since our last report our volunteers have continued their work maintaining our canal and towpath, and also enhancing it, they’ve transformed an unmade stretch into a new hard surfaced towpath.

So, here’s a summary of the work done by our gallant team of volunteers.

  • On average we have had over 18 people turn out for each work party. Volunteers 7 May 23
  • We have put up bird boxes in mature trees and planted saplings where trees were too sparse, to improve the habitat and enhance the natural environment of the canal area.
  • Then we filled pot holes on access tracks, levelled the tracks where greater ground clearance was much needed attention, and also cleared vegetation to make a passing place
  • Locks need a fresh lick of paint quite regularly, so here they are sprucing up the beams etc. Painting a lock.

  • Vegetation constantly grows over and needs trimming back.
  • We’ve done lots of this, and paid special attention where trees and bushes had grown overhead, or too far over the towpath. Overhead pruning Prunings
  • A major litter pick resulted in 50 bags of rubbish collected, and three trollies

The biggest task of all was laying a proper hard surfaced path down! We improved the towpath last year from Wootton Brook towards the M1, we continued the work so that the towpath is now hard surfaced almost to lock 13. Over 5 days a length of 96 metres of new towpath was laid.

This was accomplished by 90 volunteer visits that totaled 486 volunteer hours over the five days. We couldn’t have done it without the huge contribution given by Cummins Power Systems, they provided 195 hours of work from their employees plus the funding of the project! Much appreciated Cummins, our relationship continues to be a big success! Our efforts were also supported by The Canal and River Trust. Thanks to everyone involved.

Whilst doing all that, they had fun as well! Altogether its a great result.

So due to all this hard work we’ve improved the towpath as a good place for all users, and it makes boaters lives so much easier if locks are maintained!

The volunteer work parties normally take place twice a month along the Northampton Arm as part of the adoption by IWA Northampton Branch. Volunteer with us.

Anyone interested in coming along can look at the volunteering page for more info and check the events pages to check the latest details of task party days and specific dates.


Explore more nearby