Yesterday we did a CRT volunteer event at Uxbridge Rd visitor moorings in Southall. If you’ve been that way, you’ll recognise it.
This is a problem site because although there is good towpath (only recently resurfaced) and piling suitable for tying to, and it is handy for shops and pubs, the local population is fond of feeding the swans and geese here and this is the result:
The path is slimy with bird poo and not everyone is happy to walk amongst these large birds. I dare say it is not healthy to do so either. I counted 52 swans not including all the geese and whatnot.
This bin is mostly full of empty bags which were presumably used to bring along bird food, often rice apparently.
Here are the signs telling people not to do it! However we were told that many people drive out here with their kids purposely to feed the birds.
Consequently it is the visitor mooring that no-one moors at.
Yesterday we spend a few hours there interviewing passers by and local residents about how they regard the canal frontage. Here is our leader Dick talking to a local.
The gentleman in the picture thought the area was safe enough to moor, but with all the mess, who would want to. There were reports of yoofs loitering under the bridge in the evenings and we found an empty vodka bottle and loads of beer cans there. Apparently the police occasionally pay visits and people have been arrested for dealing in the past.
Such a pity that as useful mooring spot like this is spoilt. It’s not far from the centre of Southall which has loads of interesting ethnic shops and the locals seem very friendly, as does the Hamborough tavern by the bridge (although it has no real ale). With all the pressure on London moorings, it would be good if this spot could get sorted out. Dick is on the case and has a meeting about it next week. If it was down to me, I think I would consider moving the mooring signs back down the bank away from the bridge and installing some rings there. It wouldn’t solve the problem of the birds but it might make it a more attractive spot for an overnight stop.