Today has been spent along the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal researching for a project for the Canal & River Trust in Gloucester. The canals are a fascinating mix of engineering and nature, and the boundary between these two is often not so clear: as when badgers tunnel into the bank, piercing the clay lining of the canal causing it to drain out, or when invasive Zebra Mussels growing on the sluices build up so much that the sluice will not longer close – re-engineered by nature. It is the overlap between the engineered and the natural that interests me here, at the Purton timber pools. Timber brought into Sharpness dock used to be stored here before being lashed together and towed up the canal to Gloucester, or so I have been told. Today, these canal sidings have been overgrown by water reeds, leaving a little open water near the entrance. A beautiful spot. Thanks Laura for showing me around today: great crested grebes, badgers, zebra mussels, water voles, bats and more.