Ashby Canal Northern Reaches
The Ashby-de-la-Zouch Canal never did make it to Ashby-de-la-Zouch, or through to its original intended junction with the Trent & Mersey Canal. But it did once go to Moira, eight miles further than its current terminus near Shakerstone. Which isn’t so much a terminus as a mere petering-out in the middle of nowhere, the result of mining subsidence closing the northern end of the canal.
And that’s the key to the Ashby Canal Trust’s plan to extend the navigation back northwards towards Moira. The first phase will take it to Measham, and a new town basin that will give the 22-mile dead-end a real destination. A Transport & Works Order has already been obtained thanks to support from Leicestershire Council, and funding is being finalised so that work can start on this three-mile length, part of which will follow a disused railway line as the old canal route has been built on.
Meanwhile near the far end of the canal, an isolated length of over a mile of canal has already been restored and connects the preserved Moira Furnace to a new terminal basin by Conkers, the new National Forest Centre. The final phase of restoration will be to connect the Moira and Measham sections together by reinstating the three miles of missing canal in between.