Over £1/2m to be invested this winter to improve Wales' canals
Glandŵr Cymru – the Canal & River Trust in Wales – is this month set to begin a £545,000 winter repair programme on the nation’s waterways, including the Monmouthshire & Brecon and Llangollen canals.
The work will be carried out over the next five months by our staff and volunteers.
The Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal has been voted among the most popular attractions in the Brecon Beacons National Park and contributes over £18m to the local economy each year.
Teams from Glandŵr Cymru will be carrying out works at seven locations to help keep the canal watertight; replacing and repairing lock gates at four locations; and improving towpaths at key spots along the waterway. Many of the projects will require water to be drained from stretches of the canal with the thousands of fish carefully rehomed before the engineering work is carried out.
The Llangollen Canal in north Wales is home to the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and its UNESCO World Heritage site. Works here will include railing improvements on the aqueduct and upgrades to the 175-metre long Whitehouses Tunnel.
Richard Thomas, Glandŵr Cymru director, Wales and South West, says: "The canals in Wales are among the most beautiful anywhere in the world. The projects we’re carrying out over the next five months are really important. We’ll be emptying millions of litres of water, moving thousands of fish, and swinging multi-tonne lock gates through the air into place. It is a great example of the type of work we do to improve the canals, which are so important for the economy, as well as supporting everyone who lives on, works on or visits the waterways.
"The canals are over 200-years old but arguably as relevant as ever for today’s society. They offer an amazing, tranquil space, where everything slows down. So they’re great places to escape the pressures of modern life.
"We know from research that people are happier and more relaxed when they are by water, and the activities the canals support means they can help contribute to improving people’s mental and physical well-being. While we’ll be working on some key sections, the remainder of the canals are still open so I’d encourage everyone to come and discover all they have to offer."