West Vale Branch

The West Vale Branch section has the Wiltshire / Oxfordshire border as it's western limit (where the canal crossed the river Cole) and extends some 12 km to just east of the village of Uffington.

canalpark2 canalpark1Some years ago, the branch cleared and dredged several lengths of the canal around Shrivenham, opening up 1500m of towpath. We also purchased 2 hectares of land to the south of Shrivenham that included 100m of in-filled canal. The canal was excavated and the area landscaped to create a small park that now includes a car park, slipway, paths, numerous trees and a wildlife area.

SSLB1 SSLB2In order to join two of the dredged sections of canal, we then set about rebuilding the brick-arch bridge that carries Steppingstone Lane bridleway over the canal, it having been demolished in the 1950s. The new bridge is now in use, the outstanding job here is to repair the canal wing walls.

The branch has monthly open meetings on the first Wednesday of each month, starting at 8 pm, at the Prince of Wales pub in Shrivenham High Street with often a work-party on the following Saturday.

We also hold weekly work-parties most Wednesdays.

 

Contact our chairman Graham Banks for further details at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

2019 Shrivenham Fete

  Our stand at the 2019 Shrivenham Fete

 
 

 

As well as maintenance of the Canalside Park and towpaths, special work-parties have been busy ..............

 

21st August 2019 - Another excellent team from Arval. This time, eight volunteers got to work clearing out the drainage ditch at the back of
our Park; this being necessary to prevent the adjacent lane flooding.

2019 Aug Arval

31st July 2019 - Our second team from Arval this month! Six enthusiastic volunteers tidied the entrance to the Park,
seeded grass around the new path, repositioned the footpath sign and also continued the clearance of the canal bed towards Tuckmill Brook.
2019 July Arval

17th July 2019 - We welcomed our first team of volunteers from Thames Water on another scorching hot day.
A dozen energetic folk completed the path started by Nationwide last week and then continued with the canal clearance towards Tuckmill Brook. Jobs well done.

 

2019 July Thames Water2019 July Thames Water
12th July 2019 - More teams from Nationwide! The Financial Controls & Operations and Squad Departments, numbering 42 - our ever largest ever group,
progressed four tasks. A "heavy mob" extended the surfaced path in the Park, no easy job removing the rock-hard turf and shifting the stone on a hot day.
A second demanding job was to continue clearing the canal bed eastwards. The third group carried out essential clipping of the hedgerows to keep the footpaths safe.
The fourth group were able to work in the shade of the Park copse gathering dead branches to create 12 habitat piles. A full day with lots to show at the end,
but it was not all graft, everyone enjoyed an on-site break for a buffet lunch in the shade of the trees.

July 19 Nationwide 2019 July Nationwide

2019 July Nationwide2019 July NW

2019 July NW 2019 July Nationwide

9th July 2019 - Arval returned with a team to maintain the footpath to the north of the Park, before & after photos show the difference.  2019 July Arval2019 July Arval
3rd July 2019 - Nationwide returned with an energetic  team of 15 on another very hot day and together with an equally enthusiastic
group of 7 of from Intel, that joined us for the afternoon, about 100m of  the canal was cleared eastwards from the Park.
Nationwide July 2019Intel July 2019
5th June 2019 - Another group of 18 volunteers from Nationwide came for a day out to do some hard work along the canal towpath between Station Road
& Stainswick Lane in Shrivenham. The path here was almost impassable due to the rapid spring growth of annuals. On a glorious sunny day, teams from
'Compliance Oversite' and 'Branch Transformation' got going and by the end of the day the 630m path was again clear for public use.
Towpath to Station RoadTowpath to Station RoadTowpath to Station Road
23rd April 2019 - Nationwide provided a team of 22! They beavered away clearing and burning the last of the debris along the length to Tuckmill Brook
and also some lying in the length through our Canalside Park. At long last this section is virtually tidy.
Nationwide two April 2019Nationwide two April 2019
Our first corporate work-party of 2019 was held on 10th April - 10 volunteers from the Nationwide Building Society risk assessment team enjoyed the sunshine  
and heaped up piles of debris cut last year, that lay along the canal to Tuckmill Brook, some under water after the winter rains and then had several bonfires. 
Nationwide April 2019Nationwide April 2019 
Towards Tuckmill Feb 2019 The autumn work-parties have certainly made a difference, changing what looked rather like an overgrown ditch to an obvious canal.
With a little more water we could even float a boat!
 
Team ArvalTeam Arval 19th November 2018 - A cold day down on the cut, but we had another team from Arval to carry on the clearance from the Park to Tuckmill.
Their Sales Team, some travelling a great distance to be with us, put in a superb amount of effort and finsihed the removal of brambles.
 
NPower Front Office TeamNPower Front Office Team 15th November 2018 - On a lovely autumnal day, a team 14 strong from the NPower Front Office attacked yet more brambles & scrub
to clear more of the canal bed and banks. All we need to do now is dispose of the heaps of debris!
 
Nationwide Treasury TeamNationwide Treasury Team 7th November 2018 - A group from Nationwide Building Society made a most welcome return.
Severn hardy volunteers from the Treasury Team braved rain and wind to clear more scrub from another length of canal near our Park, but they appeared to enjoy it!
 
Defence Academy Team Oct 2018Defence Academy Team Oct 2018

October 2018 - A second team from the Defence Academy-JFD HQ Resources Dept. 12 hard-working volunteers put in a full day of scrub clearance and
"recovered" the canal nearly to Tuckmill Brook.

 
Defence Academy Team Oct 2018  

Defence Academy Team Sept 2018Defence Academy Team Sept 2018

Defence Academy Team Sept 2018Defence Academy Team Sept 2018

 Sept 2018 - We welcomed 23 volunteers from the Defence Academy DCDC department, who cleared the brambles from 100m of the canal bank east of our Park.
This section being totally dry at the time.

 
  Wednesday work-party with Arval - Stainswick to Station Road - July 182nd Group from Arval - Stainswick to Station Road - July 18

July 2018 - Two groups of energetic volunteers from Arval, kept the towpath open from Stainswick Lane to Station Road,
despite it being one of the summer's very hot days.

 

  London WRG on Steppingstone Lane Bridge end June 18 - photo Martin Ludgate

End June 2018 - London WRG cut and fixed the coping stones to the western parapet of Steppingstone Lane bridge, so completing the bridge rebuild.

 
 Completion of towpath by Station Road - May 18

May 2018 - A branch work-party completed the surfacing of the towpath adjacent to Station Road Shrivenham.

   

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