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West Vale News
West Vale work-party with Research Councils UK

 28 March, 2012

West Vale hosted another successful mid-week work-party, this time with volunteers from Research Councils UK and Swindon Branch. Beforehand, they did not know what they were getting into, but the red-shirted band of got fully involved with cutting the last of the scrub from the canal bed between the Canalside Park and Tuckmill Brook and having two good bonfires, despite it being an unusually warm day!

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 The team left tired, hot and rather dirty but well satisfied with their day's graft, as were we.

Although not having been dredged, this whole section of canal is now readily visible from the towpath; with just some brambles to clear when conditions allow.

West Vale Welcomes Nationwide Volunteers

 March, 2012

 March 2012

Over the past months we have been fortunate to have had several visiting groups of volunteers from The Nationwide Building Society; the latest team on March 7th was from the Change & Implementation Department.


Despite the day starting rather wet and windy, that made getting the bonfire going somewhat difficult, they got stuck in.

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March 2012


Working along the canal eastwards from our Canalside Park in Shrivenham, after putting in a full day's hard labour, they had cleared the scrub from a further 100m of the canal bed.


We hoped they enjoyed it, we did!


Photos: Kyla Adams


Jubilee Oaks planted at the Canalside Park, Shrivenham

December, 2011

The Woodland Trust, the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust and the Forest School group from Chestnut Trees Pre-school in Shrivenham are making an early start in celebration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee by planting 2 "jubilee" specimen oaks and 30 native saplings at the Canal-side Park in Stainswick Lane, Shrivenham.

The trees have been provided by the Woodland Trust as part of a major project to celebrate the Queens Diamond Jubilee in 2012. The Wilts & Berks Canal Trust will be planting more trees on the site over the next year.

Alan Norris, chair of W&BCT West Vale Branch said:

"We started work on Shrivenham Canalside Park in 1996 and we are very proud that our volunteers have created a wonderful amenity for the community. We were delighted that the Forest School chose to plant the trees in the park because it fits perfectly with the work of restoring the canal which is a haven for wildlife and is enjoyed by a wide cross section of the community through activities like walking, running, cycling and bird-watching."

Roz Dobie, Forest School leader said:

"I'm thrilled that our bid for trees from the Woodland Trust was successful. The children visit the park regularly and enjoy playing and learning about nature. It was a wonderful day; the children are at an age where the experience will stay with them for years to come as they return to the Canalside Park and see their own special trees flourishing."


Photo copyright Al Cane - Faringdon Folly


BT Volunteers Get the Right Number at West Vale

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Organised via colleagues in Swindon Branch, West Vale hosted a large work-party for 25 volunteers from BT's Customer Experience Improvement departments who were converging on Swindon, from across the country, for a team event. Many had spent hours travelling before donning wellies, etc. and being put to work at the Shrivenham Canalside Park. 2011_11_29_BT-01


The morning was blustery and cold, just the weather for cutting back the willow regrowth in the canal by the park and clearing the scrub from ditches around the park.




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The very dry weather this year has resulted in an unusual absence of water in both canal and ditches, so making now the ideal time for clearance work.







Another group retrieved debris from the ponds, removed an old fence and repaired another.





A third group started to tackle the scrub on the banks of an as yet unrestored length of the cut.

At lunchtime the threatened rain started, blowing horizontally. Most of the team then disappeared for lunch but not this group, spurred on by having spent hours in a car on the M25 and although getting rather wet, they worked on until their team-mates returned; just as the rain was easing!


A final hour, for the whole team, saw completion of the clearance of 100m of ditch to the north of the park and a large warming bonfire.


Thank you BT, please call again!

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