Repairs worth £300,000 will begin on the Llangollen and Montgomery Canals in the New Year.
Repairs to a handrail at Britain’s highest aqueduct, the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, between Chirk and Llangollen, are among eight vital maintenance projects along the Welsh Border canals between 2 January and 29 March 2019.
Before each separate lock or section is drained, fish will be rescued and transported to another part of the canal. All the new lock gates are hand-crafted in oak at a special Canal & River Trust workshop using traditional skills.
Other work includes:
Ged King, construction manager with the Canal & River Trust, said: “The Llangollen Canal is one of the most popular canals in the country, so it is vitally important that we keep the 200-year-old man-made waterway in good repair.
“Its combination of stunning scenery and incredible engineering, including the 11 mile World Heritage Site, attracts thousands of visitors every year. Boaters love the challenge of traversing Britain’s highest aqueduct, and walkers, cyclists, canoeists and anglers all enjoy spending leisure time by this beautiful waterway.
“Most of this year’s maintenance jobs are on the Llangollen Canal but we also have a key task to repair lock gates at Frankton Locks, the gateway to the Montgomery Canal, which is currently undergoing a £4 million restoration project.
“After Christmas, we will be emptying millions of litres of water from the canals, moving thousands of fish and lifting multi-tonne lock gates through the air into place. Each new gate is made to measure, weighs several tonnes, and is handcrafted from seasoned oak so that it fits perfectly in the lock chamber. Lock gates typically last around 25 years and allow thousands of boats to travel from place to place each year.
“Although the canals were originally built during the Industrial Revolution, today they have been reinvented as leisure destinations and havens for wildlife. Modern canals offer an amazing, tranquil space, where everything slows down – a great place to escape the pressures of modern life.”