Last week the RRT boater bubble took the free time afforded by lockdown to carry on with cutting back some of the overhanging trees to restore navigation along the river.
We took the work raft belonging to the trust and hitched a lift upstream on the tide. Every time I hit a tree based obstruction, I’d check for nests and then remove the branch with a hand saw and drag it onto the raft. I repeated this, going further and further up river, until the raft was piled high with branches and the tide eventually turned and brought me back down stream. We are trying to have the least possible impact, so leaving in place the higher branches hanging over the river and also trying to re-use much of the timber we take down for projects on the river.
In good news, the 100 metre long stand of willows that was the main obstacle between Barking and Ilford has now been largely cut back enough to allow boat passage. There are now just a few individual trees to go before we can make it to Ilford, which a few of us are hoping to tackle this week.