In an "advice" message British Waterways stresses the efforts taken, it says, to clear thorns from the towpath following the annual cut of boundary hedges. In a five-pronged attack on the puncture peril it resolves to "mulch and blow/sweep/rake/clear the thorns off the path". I'm not sure how you "mulch" thorns, but the rest of it sounds as though a big effort is going to be made. No, really!
All London Waterways
Monday 1 November 2010 - Tuesday 1 March 2011
The South East and London Waterway have commenced the annual hedge cutting round, starting on the 1st Of November 2010 running until 1st March 2011.
Please be advised this work is to a specification which involves the clearing of cut thorns from the tow path following the cut of one years growth, every effort will be made to mulch and blow/sweep/rake/clear the thorns off the path, however there will be areas where some thorns may remain on the towpath or blow from the hedge onto the towpath following the cut.
If you are planning a cycling trip please follow link http://www.waterscape.com/things-to-do/cycling/hints-and-tips for helpful tips. If you have a pet be mindful of tender paws picking up thorns on the path and under the hedgerows following this work.
Enquiries: 0207 985 7200
More stoppages on this waterway:
You can find all stoppages at the url below:
Cyclists are pointed to the "hint and tips" on Waterscape, where the relevant section reads:
Thorny hedge trimmings can cause a puncture at some times of year, particularly spring. When cycling in rural areas, always take a spare inner tube or puncture repair kit, and consider plastic-reinforced tyres.
Fair enough. What else can they say?
Thorns are bad news for cyclists. I have suffered countless punctures from cycling along towpaths, usually, it seems, in the back tyre (grr). The top photo is of David on his folding Dahon pushing my (old) bike between locks on the Hatton flight.
Bad news for pets, too, it appears. (These are Boris and Mildred, Andrew and Bekka's kittens.) I have to admit to not having considered that dogs and cats have to watch out for thorns too. I suppose I assumed that as they don't normally wear socks and shoes their little feet would be able to cope with all underfoot conditions (hot coals excepted).
One question: why are so many miles of towpath bounded with the bane of cyclists: hawthorn hedges? I don't suppose tender-footed pets like them either.