Although much of the Thames towpath is a public footpath and part of a national trail it sometimes occurs to me that it would be difficult to tow a barge with a horse on the towpath.
The reason is that in some places trees now grow between the path and the water.Â
Just prior to today’s Oxford & Cambridge Boat Race there has been tree felling on the towpath just upstream of Hammersmith Bridge. Residents in Chiswick across the water are not too happy at having their view changed and those living in Barnes residents claim that this summer there will not be the usual tunnel of trees shading them from the sun on the path.
Martin Garside of the Port of London Authority says: “The trees are slowly but surely destroying the stone wall, which is part of the flood defences. Ultimately the towpath would collapse and that’s just not an option.”
However, only every other tree has been removed from the stone wall this time although eventually all the trees will have to go. Maybe the work should have been done years ago. Â