Gloomy news is flooding in from all directions. Well, when I say flooding I really mean the opposite because the gloomy news is about drought. BW has this week announced a slew of new restrictions to locks on the Grand Union, especially in the Chiltern summit area and through Braunston and Calcutt. At this rate Herbie will be marooned at Crick before summer really arrives. Amy on Lucky Duck tells us today that the Northampton Arm will be completely closed for lengthy periods, thus isolating the Nene and the fens from the rest of the system for weeks at a time.
Not that I blame BW. If they don’t impose these restrictions now, it won’t be long before we get total stoppages. BW have just published their March reservoir watch stats and whilst holdings on the GU have improved by between 7 and 9% over the last month, they are still at a historically low level for the time of year. The worst bit seems to be GU North which is still only at 41.2%. “Our bit”, which they call Oxford and GU, is not much better at 46.6%. Worst of all is the Birmingham navigations whose reservoir holdings are at a worrying 35.9%.
As with domestic water supplies, they have no problems further to the North West where holdings are mostly in the 85 –95% region. Well we did have the idea of heading up to Trent and Mersey and the Shroppie this summer, so that still looks sensible. I am reminded of our very first narrowboat holiday in 1988 when we did the Shroppie and this photo of me then sums it up fairly well.
Come on rain, where are you? I promise not to complain. For the first month anyway.