Friday 1st October 2021 – Copied from our Facebook group
I had intended to use The Weedeater to clear growth in Ebridge Mill Pond last Friday (with the coming of weekend use very much on my mind). Regrettably, what with autumn approaching and with slightly cooler weather, when I flattened the battery on the boat (my mistake), I was unable to hand start the engine on my own. As a result, I wasn’t able to do the job until I had help with that start and didn’t do it till Tuesday. Sorry about that folks! The best laid plans of mice and men etc… At any event, it’s done now and looking much better.
I hope everybody understands that I’d had to leave the job till the nesting season was over, for the protection of the birds. I have been raking algae all summer, but not cutting much. Having begun, as and when weather improves (as in not too much rain), I intend to get in a deep cut along the length of the pound, from Ebridge to Bacton Wood. Bearing in mind that I can cut in one session and then rake out the resultant trash in the next session, I hope everybody will bear with me between these actions. Thankyou!
I’m very aware that today is the 1st day of our PIKE season. Please, fisherfolk, note that whilst it will take a while to get this job done, the longer term benefit will be worth any temporary inconvenience. It’s a noisy job, but it has to be done! You are all smashing guyz, so I know you’ll get it. Thanks again! Oh! Please don’t destroy the reed on the waters edge, that’s all that stands between the canal and erosion and a possible breach, total water loss with all the fish along with it. Let me cut it as close as I can and then wait till our tractor drivers can top the read on one side, without destroying it at water level.
On the point of pike fishing, I’m sure everybody will grasp that this is a shared space and be happy with that. In particular, please bear in mind that there WILL be swimmers, so please be careful, especially to take steps to avoid lost lures with hooks. They could be terrible dangerous for other canal users. I’m sure you all know the rules around barbless single hooks etc. For new (and very welcome) new visiting fishers, PLEASE read the rules (maybe better described as compulsory guidelines, which is to say that you’re welcome if you follow them and unwelcome if you don’t) on the notice boards. They are only there to care for people and nature. We truly value our (naturally occurring) fish stocks. There’s no actual charge to fish, so please respect the generosity of the canal owners in permitting it.
North Walsham and Dilham Canal Trust maintain this section. All the work is done by volunteers, giving freely of their time. On the other hand fuelling and maintaining the equipment is an expensive job. To give you an idea, The Trust need an income of around £1000 a month just to keep up. All of that comes from voluntary contributions. Sometimes, if you see things slipping a bit, it may be because there’s just not enough in the maintenance kitty for that. So, we ask for voluntary donations by users of the canal, each time they use it, of only £3.00 each. If everybody did that, over the year, costs would be covered. Some do, some don’t and no-one checks up on anybody. It’s a case of trust. Some donate a little and some donate more. That goes for everybody, whatever way they are using the canal or it’s banks. Along with the bylaws, there’s a QR code to use on the notice board and donations can be made on our web site. Alternatively, our trip boat skipper usually carries a card reader or can happily take cash gifts. Thank you all!
The other element of managing the waterway for you all is the availability of volunteers. Whether fishers, swimmers, paddle-boarders, canoeists, sailors, dog or fitness walkers, PLEASE volunteer to do your share. We have regular, organised, work parties and I know a lot of wonderful people simply pick litter/dog poo etc., with no fuss and no comment. You are all brilliant! We love you all! If you want to join organised work parties or volunteer for help in admin, we’d love to have you. Please go on our web site at www.nwdct.org
to find details. It’ll help to keep you physically and mentally fit and give you something you can be proud of achieving.
Being outdoors, with nature is a wonderful thing. This canal, the use of which is provided by Old Canal Company on this section, is a brilliant place to enjoy it. North Walsham and Dilham Canal Trust volunteers are a breed apart! Our public too are really quite special! Your ability to share the space with each other so happily is a matter of real pride to me. I’ve travelled around the national canal system as a commercial boatman in my time and you lot are The Best!
Thank you all so much.
(Volunteer, Trustee and Boating Officer)