Monty crosses the bor­der...

Canal Boat - - News -

AS A £4m three-year pro­ject which will ex­tend the nav­i­ga­ble length of the Mont­gomery Canal to Crick­heath Wharf is launched, vol­un­teers have al­ready com­pleted the bulk of work on re­mov­ing one of the ma­jor ob­struc­tions be­tween there and the next target – the Welsh bor­der.

Fol­low­ing con­fir­ma­tion of grants from the Heritage Lot­tery Fund and Euro­pean Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Fund, work is un­der­way with a target com­ple­tion date of 2020. It will in­clude: • Re­build­ing and lin­ing 1.25 miles of chan­nel (with sup­port from Shrop­shire Union Canal So­ci­ety’s vol­un­teers) from Red­with to Crick­heath in­clud­ing a new wind­ing hole (turn­ing point). This will al­low both this sec­tion and a length al­ready re­stored from Gron­wen to Red­with to re­open to boats. • Cre­at­ing off­line na­ture re­serves which will pre­serve the canal’s rare plant and an­i­mal species, al­low­ing fur­ther restora­tion of the canal for nav­i­ga­tion. • Up­grad­ing five miles of towpath reach­ing through into Wales. CRT’s wa­ter­way man­ager Wendy Capelle saw it as “a huge step for­ward in restor­ing this beau­ti­ful canal” and a “tes­ta­ment to the ded­i­ca­tion of so many peo­ple over sev­eral years who have kept the dream alive”, while the Mont­gomery Part­ner­ship’s John Dod­well re­garded it as “a new step for­ward in the ten-year strat­egy to re­stored the canal back to Welsh­pool – and then on to New­town”.

Mean­while on the length be­yond Crick­heath, a team of Wa­ter­way Re­cov­ery Group vol­un­teers spent a week in July re­mov­ing an old railway em­bank­ment which blocked the route near Pant. To­gether with the re­build­ing of School­house Bridge (sup­ported by a £100,000 con­tri­bu­tion from the In­land Wa­ter­ways As­so­ci­a­tion’s Tony Har­ri­son Le­gacy – see CB, May), this rep­re­sents the re­moval of the last two ma­jor ob­struc­tions to re­open­ing the canal to the Welsh bor­der at Llanymynech.

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