2 May 2020
This was the last work party of the year and run in conjunction with Waterway Recovery Group (North West) and Manchester & Stockport Canal Society. Tasks included clearing vegetation that had spread over the towpath on the both the Ashton Canal and its Stockport Branch, raking moss from between sets on the junction bridge, planting more bulbs and removing litter. A good turnout enabled volunteers to be spread across three sites. Coping stones, edging stones and sets around the balance beams, both sides of the chamber and well of the former swing bridge at the Strawberry Duck pub were cleared of vegetation and litter. Up at Audenshaw, further bulbs were planted in the beds created earlier this year to give a wider period of flowering.
On the Stockport Branch, where the larger part of the workforce was engaged, litter was picked and a large amount of shrubbery and scrub removed. Not quite the job originally planned, but important as the local area officer of Manchester City Council (who own this part of the line of canal) had arranged to work with M&SCS for most of the day as a volunteer. They enjoyed themselves very much and were very impressed by the M&SCS plans for restoration. A small formal garden with commemorative obelisks that had been created when the canal branch was infilled (in the 70s) was rediscovered.
Naturally, the area was left much tidier, Council contractors were due to collect the loppings and bags of rubbish we collected from this area on the following Monday. CRT removed similar items from the other sites as we finished work.