Easenhall Cutting on the Oxford Canal has reopened to navigation whilst a major repair project by the Canal & River Trust continues.

After a period of intense rainfall in early February an estimated 4,000 tonnes of the 18m cutting slipped into the canal. The Trust’s team worked through difficult conditions, with continued wet weather saturating the site, to find a solution that involved installing a 300m access road across neighbouring fields and digging down the bank to remove the material from the canal.

The navigation will be fully open on weekends, with open ‘windows’ during the week to allow the Trust’s teams to continue clearing material, rebuilding the cutting and reinstating the towpath. The towpath will remain closed until the early summer, when these works are due to be completed.

From Monday to Friday, free passage is available before 8am, between 10am and 11am, 1pm and 2pm, and after 4.30pm. On Saturday and Sunday, the navigation is fully open.

Boats are asked to wait before Bridge 34 (heading north), or before the Brinklow Arm (heading south), to avoid mooring up within the cutting.

Vaughan Felton, principal engineer at Canal & River Trust, said: “We’re delighted to be reopening the Easenhall Cutting to boats. Our team has worked hard in difficult conditions to get the canal back into a navigable state and it will be great to see boats back using this popular route. It’s an illustration of the impact climate change is having on our 250-year-old canal network, both in the damage itself, caused by saturation from extreme winter storms, and in the way the persistent wet weather presented a series of challenges in the repair work. Thank you to boaters for your patience while we continue to work to get this fixed.”

The Trust will continue to provide updates as the works progress, sign up to the Stoppage Alerts for more information: Notices and stoppages | Canal & River Trust (canalrivertrust.org.uk).