The Summerhill section of the Lichfield Canal was purchased by the Trust early this year and already the kilometre length of abandoned canal has been cleared by the Trust's own volunteer team, of the self-set trees, scrub and brambles following more than three quarters of a century of disuse. Contractors have completed construction of the large diameter culvert that will carry the existing Crane Brook under the restored canal bed and so provides a safe access to the much noticed and so often queried, Trust owned aqueduct that crosses the M6 Toll road at this point. Currently work is under way to install a power cable to the adjacent quarry and this will also be used to power a pump at the new deep lock. The site clearance work has been complimented by the planting of 800 new trees of which 100 are British oaks.
Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust and Inland Waterways Association Joint Walk
About 120 people gathered on a fine summer evening for a guided walk along the recently cleared Summerhill section. The walk was organised jointly with the Lichfield branch of the IWA which also presented LHCRT with a cheque for £500.
The walk was led by Peter Buck who presented a most informative and entertaining talk on the current work and future plans for the restoration of this section. Along the way visitors saw the sandwharf, the recently installed ducting, cabling and transformer to power the new lock, the Moody blocks which will form the retaining wall, and now that the culvert over Crane Brook is completed they were able to walk all the way up to the Aqueduct and hear about plans for the new deep lock which will be build there.
The walk was followed by a meal at Oddfellows in The Boat for those that wished to partake.
Thanks to the IWA and to The Boat for their help in organising this most enjoyable event.
The Heritage Towpath Trail is into the final of the Canal & River Trust Living Waterways Awards.
The awards seek to recognise the most inspiring and exciting waterway-based improvement projects across the UK. Finalists are listed under seven award categories, our Heritage Trail is in the Restoration & Historic Environment category together with the Cotswold Canals Restoration, Stroud and Sutton Weaver Swing Bridge, Cheshire.
The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on October 8th. Tickets will be available at £65 for those wishing to attend the event in London. More details to follow.
Read more about the first stage judging.
Helen Whitehouse of Lichfield IWA presents a cheque for £500 to Peter Buck of LHCRT
15th July 2015
Photos: Bob Williams, Christine Howles