Within three years, the first boats are set to return to another restored stretch of the Montgomery Canal, following the launch of a £4m Lottery-backed restoration project
Within three years, the first boats are set to return to another restored stretch of the Montgomery Canal, following the launch of a £4m Lottery-backed restoration project.
A scheme funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund and supported by the Shropshire Union Canal Society’s volunteers will rebuild a mile and a quarter of the Welsh borders waterway. Together with a length which has already been restored this will add over two miles of navigation, bringing boats to the historic Crickheath Wharf for the first time since 1936.
The project will also create an offline nature reserve, building a secure habitat for rare plants, mammals and insects currently found in the canal channel. This will allow for future reopening of sections of canal beyond Crickheath – where a group of volunteers have already completed the removal of one major obstruction (an old railway embankment), and opening through to the Welsh border is the next objective.
Looking further ahead, John Dodwell of the Montgomery Partnership said that he saw the current work as a “step forward in the ten year strategy to restore the canal back to Welshpool – and then on to Newtown”.