Breach on the Ashby Canal

On Sunday, 27 November locals woke up to the sound of running water on the Ashby Canal near Snarestone, North West Leicestershire, as a hole developed in the bed of the canal writes Geoff Pursglove

Water poured into the nearby ditch as moored narrowboats settled on to the canal bed.


Volunteers from the Ashby Canal Association, boaters, a local farmer and members of the public were soon on hand to put in stop planks at specially built narrows. This stemmed the flow and the job was successfully completed by lunchtime.

“We used anything we had to hand”, said Peter Oakden, Chairman of Ashby Canal Association, “-and soon developed an effective method of installation”.


Leicestershire County Council which owns this length were informed, as were Canal and River Trust, which manages the adjacent waterway feeding the length.

The Canal and River Trust Supervisor was soon on the scene and complimented the volunteers on their rapid response and efficient approach to the installation of the stop planks.

Geoff Pursglove moors his narrowboat ‘Waterloo Sunrise’ at the bottom of his garden on the affected length of canal.


“It doesn’t look like we will be going anywhere on the boat at the moment!” he said. “A few boats are stranded, but hopefully it will all be sorted out soon.”

The towing path is damaged at the breach site, so note the path is currently closed.

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