A HALF-mile stretch of towpath and canal bank along the historic Kennet & Avon Canal at Aldermaston Wharf has been upgraded by the Canal & River Trust charity, making it easier for boats to moor and improving access for walkers, cyclists and those with wheelchairs or buggies.
The £1.2 million project was funded by the Department for Transport as part of the walking, wheeling and cycling charity Sustrans’ Paths for Everyone programme. It has improved the canal from Aldermaston Wharf heading eastwards to Sulhamstead at Ufton Lane, creating a safer and more enjoyable section of route for everyone.
Mark Evans, Canal & River Trust regional director, said: “These improvements have made it easier for us all to explore this section of the canal and enjoy the benefits that being by water can bring for our physical and mental health.
Improving the canal for both people and wildlife is so important. It also increases the resilience of such an old canal against the extreme weather events that are becoming more commonplace, and is part of the mammoth effort of our volunteers, partners and supporters to help keep canals alive.” Bank protection works have made it easier for boats to moor and have created habitats for endangered water voles, while an improved towpath surface with increased width means the popular route will be suitable for users all year.