Hundreds of trees planted in Wey and Arun Canal project

Volunteers from Southern Water helped to plant trees as part of the Wey and Arun Canal project
Volunteers from Southern Water helped to plant trees as part of the Wey and Arun Canal project

A team of volunteers from Southern Water rolled up their sleeves to help plant more than 700 small trees.

It was all part of restoration work being carried out by the Wey and Arun Canal Trust.

The team headed to Tickner’s Heath on the Surrey/Sussex border where they spent the day planting 720 small trees, a mix of hawthorne, hazel, wild cherry and dog rose, clocking up 120 metres of hedging.

Swapping the office for the countryside is part of Southern Water’s community volunteering programme which allows employees to spend two days’ paid leave working for their chosen charity or community project each year.

Commercial contracts manager Barnaby Holliker said fun was had by all. “The team work shone out on this task and we stormed through the hedge planting and mulching.”

Wey and Arun Canal Trust chairman Sally Schupke added: “Working with businesses such as Southern Water brings benefits for all parties and is a valuable way of ensuring our restoration work moves forward. The restored canal creates a green corridor for all to enjoy and it’s great to get the business community on board in this way.”

The trust is aiming to restore the 23 miles of waterway that runs from Shalford in Surrey to Pallingham in West Sussex, recreating the link from London to the sea at Littlehampton using the rivers Thames, Wey and Arun, and the canal.

The Wey and Arun Canal Trust was formed in 1973.

So far 22 bridges and two aqueducts have been reconstructed, 11 locks restored and a new one built, several culverts rebuilt and many miles of canal bed cleared and dredged.

l The trust is once again running its popular boat rally on the River Arun and welcomes everyone to join in the fun on May 19.

Last year the event attracted more than 30 small boats, canoes, kayaks and paddleboards for the three-and-a-half hour trip from Pulborough and Stopham to the tidal limit at Pallingham in West Sussex.

For more information on taking part in the River Arun Rally and to register, visit https://weyarun.org.uk/events38 where full details are available.

Meanwhile, the Wey and Arun Canal Trust is inviting the public to pull on their walking shoes and join them for its annual sponsored walk, dubbed The Poddle.

This is the 47th sponsored walk, one of the trust’s biggest fundraising events.

The Poddle last year raised £10,000 for the charity which is aiming to restore the 23 miles of waterway running from Shalford in Surrey to Pallingham in West Sussex.

This year’s walk on Sunday June 2 will begin in Bramley Village Hall and take in some of the most scenic and varied parts of the canal, including the trust’s newly-acquired length in Birtley where it is creating a 2km circular walk.

The route then follows footpaths to Shamley Green, then onwards to Farley Green, where lunch is provided.

The afternoon walk takes walkers to Albury Heath, across Blackheath and rejoins the Downs Link to return to Bramley Village Hall for tea and cake.

Both morning and afternoon sections are about six miles of mainly flat terrain and walkers can do either or both sessions.

For more information and to register go to https://weyarun.org.uk/events39, or email poddle@weyandarun.co.uk.