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No. 49. October 2020.

Appeal for support - 2020 Canal improvement project

In recent months, more than three times the usual number of local people have discovered or returned to the Canal as a place to improve their physical and mental wellbeing.

However, the future of the Canal is uncertain as many local council budgets have become stretched. And in the wake of COVID-19, that’s unlikely to change. In our role as a charity, supported entirely by around 250 volunteers, it’s important that we ALL do as much as we can to improve the Canal and help it develop as a leisure destination for individuals, clubs, families and nature lovers.
 
To protect the future of the Canal, we are launching a number of important projects. The first project is the production of ten Information Signs that will be placed at regular points along the full length of the canal. Costing £20,000, the Signs will help people to understand the local history, as well as improving the quality of visitor experience. Each Sign will feature maps, details of car parking, nearby villages, how to enjoy the Canal, rules and regulations and also how people can support the future of the Canal.


Request for a donation

  • Can I please ask you to make a one-off donation (suggested amount £20) to fund our Information Signs Project.
  • Alternatively, you can become a Member of Basingstoke Canal Society - costing £15 for a year.

Your support is so important and in future Bulletins we’ll keep you updated about the progress of this fundraising campaign. You can read more and donate to our Information Signs project by clicking on the button below.

Thank you.

Ken Sankey, Editor, Basingstoke Canal Bulletin

Please donate
Update from the Canal Authority

Here's the latest news about what's happening on the Canal.

"
We made a gradual return to more normal activities on the Canal over the summer with the resuming of volunteer activities. Starting with smaller groups for specific tasks and then building up to groups of six, we managed to get the work boats such as the Patrol Boat and Weedcutter back up and running as well."

Read more from Fiona Shipp, Canal Manager at the Basingstoke Canal Authority.
Read more
Tackling a non-native invasive species!

Introduced in the 1980s as an ornamental aquatic plant, Floating Pennywort (Hydrocotyle ranunculoides) is a species native to North America. Its pretty appearance belies its aggressively invasive nature and it is now pervasive in the Woking area from the junction with the River Wey though to Lock 7 (Langmans Bridge). The weed can grow up to 20cm a day forming dense mats of vegetation that can affect navigation, angling and water flow. It can also increase flood risk.

Total eradication is probably impossible - but our Volunteer teams are doing a brilliant job in keeping the invader at bay. Read more

Read more
Could the last 5 miles of the Canal re-open?

While remnants of the Canal can be seen along the 5 mile stretch from Greywell tunnel to Basingstoke, sadly much of this final section has been built over or dug up. Hence, returning the Canal as a navigation is beset with insuperable difficulties and is unlikely. Nevertheless, it remains the Society’s aspiration to re-establish the route of this lost section as close as possible with a footpath and cycleway.

As a first stage in achieving our plan, Volunteers Nick Silvester and Graham Corser are working with Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council on a DRAFT Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan, that includes conservation of our Canal route. We'll keep you updated on the progress in future Bulletins.

Fancy a coffee?

 
The spectacular mobile coffee van and bar owned by Grace of Kiwi & Scot provides a delightful new addition to the Woking Wharf. Popular with the Canal's Volunteer Groups and passers-by, why not call in yourself for an artisan coffee, snack or ice-cream? Recently, the Mayor of Woking, Councellor Beryl Hunwicks (pictured here with Grace) came by to pick up a coffee.



Kiwi & Scot's coffee van is located on the Canal, in front of the WWF centre. Opening times are shown here.

Fantastic fundraising from Clara and Emilia


Brookwood school girls Clara Campling and Emilia Richardson love to spend time on the Canal, riding their bikes every day.

Recently they came across an article in the Brookwood News with the headine "Canal in danger of closing". Clara was totally surprised: “When I first saw the headline, I was shocked because we go to the Canal every day to enjoy it, especially in the summer holidays. I didn’t want it to close.”
Emilia adds: “We decided to raise funds to help the Basingstoke Canal Society. We made 55 cupcakes and managed to raise £45 in one afternoon. We both look forward to doing more to help in the future.”

A very big thank you to the girls for their tremendous support.

Live theatre back in Odiham


On Saturday 22nd August, the Hampshire Theatre Group gave its first public performance since the COVID lockdown in the delightful grounds of Hatchwood House, Odiham. The Group held two open air performances of ‘Its Up to Us Now’. The drama was written and directed by John Pinkertion crew member Roger Stanwell - as the theme for a special canal cruise on John Pinkerton in June this year (that was sadly cancelled). The performance commemorates 80 years since the expected invasion by the Germans in 1940. Read how the drama unfolds.
Read more

Adventures on the Canal: Ash Vale to Odiham Castle


"Soon after we were allowed to stay overnight on a boat, on 20th July we decided to take our boat Rodessa up to Odiham Castle and back. After nineteen weeks of isolation, it felt like we were going on a big adventure. It was a beautiful sunny day and we both had the biggest grins on our faces. The Canal looked stunning. The water was so clear. I was mesmerised watching all the fish busily flitting about."
Read more about Pete and Terry Inskip's adventure
Read more

Your Canal needs you!

We need help with getting our message out via the local press. If you can help, or if you know someone with press/PR experience, please get in touch. We are also looking for more Trustees to help lead the Society and build stronger links with local councils. Please contact Ken Sankey for more information.
 
In addition to the above, we have a request for help with a project that the Society's Water Strategy Group is undertaking to predict canal closures arising from water shortages. By analysing historic rainfall, together with past closures, we can develop a ‘canal closure model’ that will help to prevent future problems. If you have a data analysis, meteorological or statistics background and would like to help, please contact Martin Leech to find out more.

Find out more

About Basingstoke Canal Society


As the guardian of Basingstoke Canal, the Society promotes and campaigns for the sustainable future of the Canal as a navigation.
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The Society received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2018, equivalent to an MBE, in recognition of more than 50 years' outstanding contribution to the local community.
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Copyright © 2020 The Basingstoke Canal Society, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
The Basingstoke Canal Society, Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, Bucks, HP5 1WA.

General enquiries to the Society by phone, on 07305 340 547.

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