We are, this month beginning a £445,000 winter repair programme along the Kennet & Avon Canal.
Projects at half a dozen locations will be carried out over the next five months by our employees and volunteers. They include replacing giant lock gates, rebuilding historic canal walls, and repairing locks along the waterway. Some of the works will require water to be drained from stretches of the canal with thousands of fish carefully rehomed before the engineering work is carried out.
The Kennet & Avon Canal is 87 miles long and passes through some spectacular landscapes as it winds through Berkshire, Wiltshire, and into Bath.
Richard Thomas, Canal & River Trust director, Wales and South West, says: "The Kennet & Avon Canal is truly beautiful and the projects we’re carrying out over the next five months are extremely 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 canal, which is so important for local people, communities and economies.
"The canal is over 200 years old but arguably as relevant as ever for today’s society. It offers an amazing, tranquil space, where everything slows down. So it’s a great place 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 canal supports means it 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 canal is still open so I’d encourage everyone to come and discover all it has to offer."