May at the Canal. Paddleboarders and rowers gently floating atop the water. Regulars choosing their favourite slice of cake from our waterside cafe. And our boats, Richmond and Kingfisher, bustling with customers enjoying a catered cruise. With glorious sunshine, the Canal would be a vibrant and active place.
Not so this May 2020. The Cafe is closed. The boats are resting. Our Heritage Centre is shut. Our 140+ volunteers are missing their regular social activity. The Basin is quieter than perhaps since the 1980’s, when restoration work first began. There’s a few walkers, abiding by current restrictions. But it’s quiet.
But it’s not all peaceful. The wildlife is making the most of the spring sunshine. The kingfisher has been flying, gloriously sparkling and turquoise. The mallards and moorhens have been nurturing their latest broods. The heron has been keeping a beady eye on goings-on. Rare visitors to the Canal, a pair of greylag geese. Little grebe have been seen, enjoying the peace and quiet. And confirmation that a proud pair of swans have successfully nested 5 cygnets.
Those who have been able to venture out have been generously sharing their images. You can find the latest on Canal activity by following us on social media – you’ll find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Following us also means you’ll be first to know about our plans to slowly open up Canal activity, as and when restrictions and our volunteers allow. We’ll provide updates first on social media and on our website www.chichestercanal.org.uk
On our website, you’ll also find details of our popular annual Photography Competition. If you’ve been inspired by images shared, or you’ve been using time at home to sort through photos, do please select a few to enter. All the details are here.
Photo credits: Janet Osborne, Mel Allen, Charlotte Hall