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coming soon Camps Previewing a couple of interesting sites in the summer canal camps programme, just a couple of months off by the time you read this... Summer camps preview 2018 part 2 Lichfield Canal When is the camp? 28 July – 4 August What’s the work? Building a canal retaining wall and towpath at Fosseway Heath. Why is it important? Initially this section will form a wetland nature reserve just north west of Lichfield, and part of a wildlife corridor following the canals from Huddlesford to Hatherton. But in the longer term it will form part of a working restored canal, linking with nearby projects already completed at Fosseway Locks, at Tamworth Road Locks, and also with a site on the southern edge of Lichfield, where the Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust is currently running a £1m appeal to build a new tunnel to take the canal under a railway line.

Work begins on the retaining wall on the Lichfield

What’s the bigger picture? Ultimately the Trust plans to open the entire six-mile canal. It will link the Coventry Canal at Huddlesford Junction to the underused northern reaches of the Birmingham Canal Navigations at Ogley Junction via the M6 Toll Aqueduct already built. Together with the restoration of the Hatherton Branch linking to the Staffs & Worcs Canal, it will open up all sorts of through routes and cruising circuits.

Wey & Arun Canal When is the camp? 7 - 14 July, 20 - 27 October What’s the work? Building a towpath at Birtley and boardwalks for a nature reserve at Shalford. Why is it important? The nature reserve at Shalford ties in with the new Hunt Park which has been created (with a lot of input from the Wey & Arun Canal Trust) in an area which will form the site for the new northern end of the canal, replacing the original link to the River Wey which has been lost. And the path at Birtley is the first work on a section of canal that will be seeing more attention once the Shalford section is complete and a way has been found to get the canal through Bramley. What’s the bigger picture? Both of these lengths are part of a plan by WACT to get work going at the north end of the canal, to complement the extensive length already fully restored in the Loxwood area further south and the recent work on the Dunsfold site in between. Ultimately these will all link together to restore the entire 23-mile canal and re-create London’s lost route to the Sea.

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Profile for The Inland Waterways Association

Navvies April - May 288  

Navvies April - May 288