Anyone walking the path along the northern edge of Selly Oak Park in Birmingham on Saturday 3rd January would have seen an unusual sight – boats on the Lapal Canal. The boats in question were in fact a canoe and a coracle, belonging to members and friends of the Inland Waterways Association’s (IWA) Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch.
After navigating from one end to the other of the section that is in water a couple of times, the boating expedition turned into a work party. Loppers and a bow saw were utilised to clear many of the overhanging branches that were obstructing passage of these small craft.
One of the volunteers was Peter Fisher, of the Lapal Canal Trust, who appreciated the additional help continuing the vegetation clearance that he has been carrying out recently. A full bin bag of rubbish and litter was also collected during the afternoon.
IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch is keen to support the Lapal Canal Trust at the current time, while proposals for a supermarket development just the other side of the main road will affect the line of the Lapal Canal between Selly Oak Park and where it would join the Worcester & Birmingham Canal.
Note: Although the water pictured is shallow, park users should exercise caution near water in the park. These boaters had friends on the bank to assist them if they got into difficulty. The Friends of Selly Oak Park do not recommend boating on the disused canal as it lacks proper safety features and may contain hidden hazards.