Despite encouraging progress being made in some places over the past week there is still much to be done to get life back to normal in the waterside communities that have been hardest hit by the Boxing Day floods. That's why we've launched an appeal aimed at reopening sections of canal and towpath which are so important to local communities, providing a valuable escape for local people and supporting businesses.
We've been delighted by the initial response from our supporters who have shown real solidarity with those affected. The money will be used to repair canal banks, restore towpaths and clear deposited silt and other rubbish which is preventing people from enjoying their local waterways.
Read the real-life stories of those affected by the floods and find out more about how you can help rebuild affected waterways.
Local people pitching in
Alongside our appeal, clean-up efforts on the ground continue and the ongoing support of local volunteers has been really heartening. Many sections of canal and towpath still need repairing but volunteers have been making good progress clearing and fixing the towpath on the Rochdale Canal. Particularly badly damaged areas including Stubbing's Wharf and at lock 18 in Todmorden have now been repaired.
Volunteers and Trust staff will be completing repairs at lock 7 and 8 in Hebden Bridge which will mean the local community will be able to use the towpath between Sowerby Bridge and Hebden Bridge once again.
The volunteer efforts continue this weekend with a clean-up taking place this Saturday on the Calder & Hebble Navigation between Elland and Park Nook Lock. This popular stretch of canal has seen some real devastation, with the towpath being torn up, rubbish strewn everywhere, walls demolished and even a boat lifted up into the adjacent woodland.
There has been some welcome news at the listed Elland Bridge on the Calder & Hebble Navigation, which was so badly damaged by the floodwaters that it will need to be rebuilt.
The bridge provides an important link for the local community and, such is its significance, the Government has pledged up to £5.5m to rebuild the bridge and put in place a temporary footbridge whilst works take place. This is fantastic news for local people and supports the hard work that has been taking place between ourselves and Calderdale Council, supported by Historic England.
While works take place behind the scenes to develop a design for the new bridge, we installed a temporary footbridge over the weekend. The footbridge will reconnect communities and enable local people to cross the canal. The main bridge structure is in place and works will be taking place this week to install ramps at either end enabling people in wheelchairs, on bikes or with buggies to get across. The bridge is expected to be available for use by the end of the week.
This map illustrates a generalised view of the areas affected by flooding. More details can be found locally for: