Uncovering the Uttoxeter
THESE ARE JUST a few of over 80 volunteers who spent a weekend in November clearing trees and scrub from the Uttoxeter Canal during the annual Waterway Recovery Group’s ‘Bonfire Bash’ – a reunion for volunteers from all over the country.
Closed as long ago as 1849, the former 13-mile extension of the Caldon Canal through Staffordshire’s Churnet Valley is the subject of the Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust’s long-term plans for complete reopening. As a first stage, the Trust wants to establish a walking route along its length: the main worksite for the WRG weekend saw a quarter of a mile of towpath uncovered at Alton, while WRG’s specialist Forestry Team cleared trees from the nearby Crumpwood Weir where the canal crossed the Churnet.
A delighted Steve Wood from CUCT credited WRG’s “enthusiasm and expert woodland management skills” and said the work would “help us assess how the original towpath can be used as part of our plans”. These include restoration of the nearby Bridge 70, the last surviving original stone bridge on the canal.