£3m of funding for improvements on Birmingham Canal Navigations

Titford Pools (photo: Martin Ludgate)

Titford Pools (photo: Martin Ludgate) - Credit: Martin Ludgate

A navigable but badly silted former canal reservoir near Birmingham is receiving funding for dredging and other improvements

A navigable but badly silted former canal reservoir bridged by the M5 motorway near Birmingham is receiving £3.1m of funding for dredging and other improvements, thanks to support from Highways England and the local authority.

Titford Pools is situated on the summit of the Titford Canal, the highest navigable level on the entire Birmingham Canal Navigations system. This odd corner of the network hosted the Inland Waterways Association's National Rally of Boats in 1978 and 1982, but more recently silt and debris deposited in the canal from water draining off the motorway has meant that boaters have often found it a struggle to get into the pools from the canal at all - as well as impacting on wildlife. Now, however, a two-year project will not only remove the silt but redesign the runoff channels to prevent a recurrence. Work will also include cutting back trees and other vegetation to encourage more wildlife, and clearing pathways.

This isn't the first time that canals have benefited from HE's Environment Fund, aimed at providing environmental improvements to mitigate the impact of major road projects in the past - earlier this year the Cotswold Canals restoration was awarded £4m for new bridges to carry the restored canal under the A38 main road.