A project to breathe new life into one of Britain’s most important canals for wildlife and heritage is a step closer after winning initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The scheme, involving a number of partners, aims to improve and safeguard the Pocklington Canal for future generations. In particular the project will protect important wildlife habitats along the canal repairing the beautiful and iconic 200 year-old Church Bridge and reinterpreting a distinctive swing bridge.
In partnership with East & North Yorkshire Waterways Partnership, the East Riding of Yorkshire Council, the Pocklington Canal Amenity Society and Natural England, we've been awarded development funding of £47,100 to help progress the plans to apply for a full grant of almost £500,000.
The Pocklington Canal, which runs for 9.5 miles between Canal Head, near Pocklington to the River Derwent in East Cottingwith, is a real gem with virtually the entire length of the canal falling within one of three Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). What’s more, all nine locks and all four road bridges are Grade II listed making the canal one of the nation’s most interesting waterways.
As well as the works to protect the ecological and historical character of the canal the project will also encourage members of the local community to appreciate its significance and to become actively involved in caring for it. The project will look to improve access to and along the canal, as well as organising events and activities to engage local people, supporting them to explore all that it has to offer.
Mark Penny, chair of the Canal & River Trust’s North East waterway partnership said: “This is great news and takes us one step closer to safeguarding what is one of the nation’s most treasured canals. The Pocklington Canal is really special in that no matter where you are on the towpath you’re almost certainly standing in an area of environmental or historical significance.
“That’s why it’s so important that we protect it for future generations and why this funding could be so significant. It could not only allow us to carry out important physical works but would also give us the opportunity to engage local people through varied activities and sharing the significance of the canal and gaining their support in protecting it.”
Fiona Spiers, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund for Yorkshire and the Humber said: “We are delighted to be able to offer the Canal & River Trust a development grant to get plans underway to restore and safeguard the Pocklington Canal. This waterway gem is largely unspoilt and this project will not only ensure its sustainable future but give lots of people the chance to get involved in protecting this rich natural heritage on their doorstep.”