What follows is a 25 image ‘audit’ of the River path starting at the Green Park entrance all the way up to Locksbrook. The audit does not go beyond Greenpark as significant works are being performed as part of the flood defence work. However should the principle of what is needed can be applied along the full path. ‘Luckily’ I was down there on rather rainy afternoon and can show the immense amount of flooding that occurs.
The primary issue with the path is one of encroachment and neglect that can be overcome using a very simple set of approaches:
- Maintenance Work
- The full width of the original path must be exposed.
- All encroaching vegetation must be cleared back. With maintenance only once every 6 months, growth can be phenomenal.
- Embankments should be dug back and made level or below the path to facilitate drainage either side of path. Reseeding of dug back areas should be considered carefully.
- Structural Changes
- A 0.5m drainage channel should be dug and filled with aggregate either side of the path where possible.
- Where ‘lakes’ of puddles occur, drainage solutions should be implemented. That is, where flood defences block drainage, drainage holes should be drilled or ‘sink holes’ should be drilled and capped to facilitate drainage.
- Consideration should be made to removal of some embankments against walls and tarmacing up to the walls to reduce long term maintenance and provide wider path.
- Widening of path to 3m minimum where possible should be achieved along the full length of the path.
It should be noted that the river path should be valued higher than it is and could be a fantastic part of Bath in Bloom rather than something that feels like it’s a forgotten industrial waste ground.
Remember that this is an exceptional healthy transport corridor and a real asset to Bath.
Each picture will have a general maintenance (GM) tasks and structural changes (SC) tasks.