Now that spring has finally arrived invariably thoughts are turning to activities of the outdoor type, and a surprising number of people will turn to Britain’s 2000 plus miles of canals for their leisure time. Whether for a stroll along the tow paths, a holiday afloat, studying the architecture of the historic buildings and bridges, or observing the wildlife over 10 million people will visit these waterways throughout the year.
The canals are home to some 35000 narrowboats and since the late 1960s tourists’ desire to explore the country via these “water roads” has blossomed. The slow pace and peaceful tranquillity offer an escape from the stresses of life today and it is this interest in the canals that has saved them from permanent closure. However time and nature have taken their toll on many stretches of canal and there are number of planned projects to restore stretches that have become un-navigable.
Left for nature to take its course, decomposing plants and leaves as well as run-off from surrounding land create a build-up of silt, reducing the depth of the water. The aquatic plants or weeds that thrive in these waters can easily invade large areas over time, meaning that boating, fishing and other leisure activities become impossible.
The first step in restoring a canal is to cut and remove the weeds, clearing the water ready for silt removal. The silt, far from being “waste” is nutrient rich and can be used as an excellent planting medium. The silt is dredged from the canal bed and can be deposited straight onto the banks, or into de-watering bags sited on the banks in order to dry out first before being used for landscaping.
With access to many stretches of canal often being restricted, and the need to create minimum impact on surrounding land, the work needs to be carried out with small, amphibious and highly manoeuvrable vehicles.
How Aquatic Solutions can help
This is where the Truxor DM 5000 vehicles used by Aquatic Solutions come into their own. They are lightweight, amphibious and have a variety of tools that are easily connected to allow for the cutting, raking and removal of aquatic weeds as well as a pump or clamshell bucket to be used for silt removal. They can gain access to many areas where larger machinery is simply unusable, and they leave little more than the impression a human footprint would on the land.
Our qualified and experienced team can transform a stretch of canal or waterway to a beautiful, healthy and viable condition, where leisure activities can resume and wildlife can flourish.
Find out more about our waterway management services here
If you would like to discuss any waterway issue you have, or receive a FREE quotation for a specific project, feel free to contact us via the form below, email us at email@example.com or call us on 01788 810614.