A walk along the banks of the Severn here reveals the old concrete working boats that were beached here from the 1930’s. The object of this was to protect the land from being eroded away by the high tides.
As it as such a fine clear day we could see the opposite bank quite well. British Rail workers were busy maintaining the line that runs alongside the Severn from Gloucester down to Newport.
Harriet of Bristol’s shapely old oak frame is weathering beautifully. We just paused here long enough to fill our water tank, have a snack and stroll around before cruising on up to Shepherds Patch. We are near the Slimbridge Wildlife and Wetland Centre here but we see quite enough of the wildlife on the canal, so probably won’t go there. There are several Mandarin Ducks around these here parts. Although the males are very colourful, the females and their chicks are dull in colour but very appealing. Btw there seems to be fewer baby duckling around this year and I’m wondering why? Is the variation in the weather to blame, or are there more predators about?
Our friends Michael and Mary came up from Bristol to join us in the Tudor Arms for a lovely roast lunch on Sunday. Mary and I had children's portions as we had seen the pudding menu and wanted to leave room for some afterwards. They came back to Oakfield for coffee and a guided tour and were impressed with our relaxed way of life afloat. However they were dismayed to learn that we are actually floating on their drinking water. Just north of Purton 24 million gallons of water a day can be drawn out of this canal, purified then pumped via a 4’ pipeline down to Bristol for use by it’s residents!