Thursday, 21 August 2014

Wildfowl welcome restored canal stretch

A swan family explores the restored and newly-watered canal section
near Sellet Hall Bridge

Over the last four years a great deal of work has been done on our canal by the Lancaster Canal Trust volunteers, local people and contractors. Much of the work remained unseen and in the background. Permissions to dredge, risk assessments, planning, all taking their toll of time.

However, we are now seeing the result of all that background work, and our canal is looking as it should, a lovely wildlife corridor and outdoor amenity for all.

Bridges have been repaired, stretches of the canal widened and, at long last, the section from Stainton Crossing to Sellet Hall bridge has been landscaped, a new tow-path laid, the canal bed lined, and it is almost ready for re-watering.

The vision is for our canal to be linked to the rest of the canal system via Tewitfield locks and the Ribble Link.

Frank Sanderson of the Lancaster Canal Trust tells us they have been impressed by the resilience (and confidence) of local wildlife, despite the disruption and heavy earth moving equipment on the section from the head of the watered canal at Stainton to Sellet Hall. With rainfall, sections of the canal begin to fill in. Water fowl can be seen moving straight back in as soon as the machinery stops working

Canoeists regularly use the canal, and other boats are beginning to explore and use the waterway, which is what it was built for.

The owners of the canal, the Canal & River Trust, have invited parishes to take over their local sections, which they hope will inspire community involvement.

The flat walks and beautiful scenery along the towpaths connect with many other trails along the way and attract walkers, runners and cyclists from near and far. It is, without doubt, a most cherished and wonderful amenity to our area.

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