Important wildlife habitats and historic features are to be improved after a local project secured a £496,600 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Thanks to National Lottery players, we're able to start a project to improve conditions for a variety of important species and restore two historic bridges on the Pocklington Canal.
The project will also involve a programme of events and activities aimed at encouraging people to get involved, learn new skills and explore their local canal.
Run in partnership with the Pocklington Canal Amenity Society, Natural England, the East & North Yorkshire Waterways Partnership and East Riding of Yorkshire Council, the project will benefit from a total investment of £682,585 with additional funding coming from the Trust and Natural England.
Part of the project will involve dredging sections of the canal which is important for aquatic plants and cutting back overgrowing reeds to ensure they don’t overwhelm other species thereby improving the SSSI.
Another element of the works will be repairs and repointing of the historic brickwork on the Grade II Listed Church Bridge, which is deteriorating through age and has been damaged by crossing vehicles. The works will be used as an opportunity to train volunteers in important heritage skills such as using traditional lime mortar.
Swing Bridge number 7, in Melbourne, will also be restored back to a design that resembles its original. The structure is one of eight moveable bridges which were built for use by landowners whose land had been cut in two by the construction of the canal. The bridges were replaced in the 1970s but built to very modern specifications in order to accommodate the size and weight of modern vehicles. The works involved in this project will retain the modern standards but change the look of the bridge, and surrounding brickwork, by using more authentic, traditional materials.
As well as the physical works the project will also enable local people to get involved in community events, walks and talks, traditional skills workshops, educational opportunities and even a festival to mark the canal’s 200 year anniversary.
New ‘interpretive’ information will also be installed, helping visitors to understand the value of the built and natural heritage of this hidden gem of a waterway. A Project officer will be appointed to coordinate the exciting programme of activities and events.
Jon Horsfall, waterway manager for the Canal & River Trust, said: “The Pocklington Canal is full of unique character and that’s what this project is all about; protecting and improving the wildlife and historical features that make the canal so special and nationally important, but doing it in a way that is sympathetic and in keeping with its valuable heritage."