I had a lovely few days away, visiting friends of Simon and exploring part of the Grantham canal. Simon's blogged about that, and he had a camera, so I won't! But what struck me most was the quiet emptiness of the canal, almost entirely boatless and, in the long stretch away from houses and people, free of rubbish. I like the bustle of boaty places and canalside communities, but the crap that comes with large concentrations of people is an awful blight. I don't think it has to be this way. People can live together without wrecking the environment, if we stop buying plastic and packaging everything.
I shouldn't rant so much, I know, but I'm on the Slough arm at the moment and saddened by the amount of dumped rubbish that's in and around the canal. I had a quick clear-up just around my boat and filled a (plastic) bin-bag easily.
Just off the towpath, a nest of colourful wires:
The lakes where anglers hang out (you can maybe spot the tent just over the fence), and useful dumping ditch behind them:
Oh well, there was probably nothing good on anyway...
In the canal itself, there's a fascinating underworld of tyres and containers. It's quite beautiful in it's way! And doesn't this motorbike look romantic in its murky home, although I don't think it would have done my boat's hull any good if I'd tried to moor here.
It's a shame because there's nowt wrong with the canal itself (though i know the summer reeds are a big problem). There are lots of trees and undergrowth and walks around lakes. It needs a lot of people to care enough and give time to cleaning it up, putting pressure on the anglers, getting bins built, etc. The problem is that most of us, including me, are either just passing through or feel no connection or 'ownership' of the canal.