The Wendover Arm Trust restoration volunteers have been sitting at home twiddling their thumbs in frustration, good weather, volunteers available and the offer of free plant hire over Easter all were lost due to the current Covid-19 crisis.
But, the future looks good, restoration work adjacent to footbridge 4 on the canal, accessed by the towpath or footpath from Wilstone Reservoir, is progressing well. Brickwork of a standard method relating to the heritage of the waterway is being completed on the old swing bridge site. Hopefully even with the virus shutdown this long section should be in water by next spring.
To celebrate this and introduce a new community amenity area, Wendover Arm Trust hope to organise a festival on the site of the ‘Whitehouses Pocket Park’. This area accessed by the towpath and footpaths will be open next year for the public’s enjoyment. They hope to install information boards at the Whitehouses pumping station giving details of its history and up to date use as the weir/sluice that is in place and will still be in use as an overflow to Wilstone Reservoir.
The area is currently being planted with spring bulbs and flower seeds for a future wild flower meadow. Seating will be provided for a welcome rest place for the public during their walks. The Trust hope to encourage schools, scouts and other youth groups to use the site for den building and other outside activities. After the successful 2019 family camp, another is being advertised for October this year again on our local canal. All this is to encourage youngsters off their screens and hopefully appreciate the outside world.
Please note that at present this area is NOT open to the public, while volunteers continue completing this section of the canal restoration and the park is safely landscaped. But, if you are able, have a walk along the towpath opposite and you can see the 100+ young trees donated from the Woodland Trust which were planted last November and between them the first signs of daffodils waving their heads amongst the grass. These were naturalising bulbs planted in December and no-one expected any flowers this year, but nature showed us the way.
Continuation of this work relies on membership; good numbers of members in the trust is a requirement for all grant funding, so please join at www.wendoverarmtrust.co.uk. Anyone with time on their hands and interested in volunteering for the Trust, please see the website for up to date work party dates and contact details. At the current time they are especially looking for the following volunteering experience: good communication skills to help manage the volunteers, help with keeping H & S up to date, scrub bashing on the monthly Tidy Friday and building experience for the restoration work party.