One small step for La­pal…

LA­PAL CANAL

Canal Boat - - News -

IT MIGHT NOT be very big, but it’s a very im­por­tant mo­ment: this kayak is be­lieved to be the first boat of any time to float on the La­pal Canal at Har­borne Wharf, in Selly Oak Park on the south side of Birm­ing­ham.

The ca­noeist, a La­pal Canal Trust mem­ber, was tak­ing ad­van­tage of the re-wa­ter­ing of the basin fol­low­ing the re­moval of 2000 cu­bic me­tres of soil by civil en­gi­neer­ing con­trac­tors Careys (who have been work­ing on the ad­ja­cent Sains­bury de­vel­op­ment at Bat­tery Park) as part of their con­tri­bu­tion to the com­mu­nity. Thanks to lo­cal com­mu­nity vol­un­teers, the canal is now sur­rounded by flow­ers, the Trust has also been sup­ported by lo­cal and na­tional wa­ter­ways groups and the Headley Trust. This sum­mer, the next stage of restora­tion work will be sup­ported by two weeks of Wa­ter­way Re­cov­ery Group canal camps.

Over the next few years, the Trust hopes to re­open the canal from its junc­tion with the Worces­ter & Birm­ing­ham through the Bat­tery Park site to Har­borne Wharf – and al­low boaters to ac­cess it ( plus a launch site for ca­noes). re­open­ing of the nav­i­ga­ble cir­cuit of the Bow Back Rivers, closed since be­fore the 2012 Games.

How­ever, a slight glitch re­mains: fol­low­ing rail­way con­struc­tion works, Cross­rail is propos­ing to re­in­state the chan­nel at only 1.3m (ap­prox 4ft 4in) depth, rather than the 1.5m wanted by the Canal & River Trust – but the dis­agree­ment shouldn’t stop open­ing cruise.

To book your boat’s place on the flotilla, see canal­rivertrust.org.uk and fol­low the links to ‘about us’ then ‘our re­gions’ and ‘Lon­don’.

Boats through the new lock in May?

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