Yes I’m still here and at last I have something to post about (not that I haven’t been busy). Anyway, today I have at last managed to secure a volunteering opportunity for the Canal and River Trust for which I don’t have to commit a regular specific day of the week or month. It’s all thanks to Boris, (not that I think that to be a particular recommendation) because Transport for London are putting money into the Trust to improve use of the towpaths in the greater London area. This means keeping a survey of towpath condition in order to prioritise repairs and renewals of the surface, dealing with intrusive vegetation (on the towpath not the water), encouraging use of the towpath by walkers and cyclists whilst at the same time getting them to behave responsibly and safely and learn about the canal, monitoring and improving signs ( I refuse to call it signage), carrying out user surveys and counts and stuff like that.
Volunteers are being recruited as Towpath Rangers who will commit whatever time they can spare to helping out with these tasks, and now that they have seen me and passed me as human and after I have attended a short induction session and any necessary training for particular tasks I will be set loose in Hillingdon which covers the GU from Stockers lock just south of Rickmansworth down to Bulls bridge or thereabouts. I’m quite looking forward to it, especially as I can fit it around our time away on Herbie. I might even get to use their bike trailer to tow signboards behind me as I pedal along my patch. And I get a badge. Wow.
I won’t be doing any rangering in October as that’s when we’re moving the boat southwards to Slough for the winter. That’s after we have attended the Banbury canal day on 6 October. We are making something special for that, which I may reveal in a day or two. Let’s just say it involves a wicker basket and some electronics.