A project to revamp a section of canal towpath in Hinckley making it easier for local people to feel the health and wellbeing benefits of spending time by the water is set to get under way.
The waterways and wellbeing charity, Canal & River Trust, is about to improve a 240 metre stretch of the Ashby Canal towpath providing a clean, green route connecting the Sansome Drive housing development with Nutts Lane.
The improvements, which will involve making the towpath wider and laying a new surface, will make it more appealing for the local community to enjoy spending time by the water. The new surface will connect to an existing access path from Sansome Drive making it easy for people to head on to the canal whatever the weather.
The work is being carried out thanks to funding secured by the Trust through Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council, from Taylor Wimpey, as part of the development of Sansome Drive.
Works are set to begin on Monday 6 July and are anticipated to last for four weeks. The towpath will be closed for the duration of the works with temporary diversions in place.
With ever increasing rates of obesity, diabetes, and other debilitating conditions – and rising levels of stress, anxiety and other mental health conditions in the UK – the Trust believes waterways are uniquely placed to make a significant contribution to improving the wellbeing of the nation.
Alan Leather, enterprise manager for the Canal & River Trust, said: “Independent research shows that spending time by the waterways can help us all feel happier and healthier so these improvements will make a very real difference to the lives of local people.
“The period of lockdown has really demonstrated the importance of having tranquil, green spaces on our doorstep and this new section of path will make it easier and more appealing for local people to use the canal to keep active and clear their minds.
“As a charity we’re incredibly grateful for the funding to make these improvements possible and pleased to be working with Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council. It’s great to see how much local people value the canal and recognise the important role it can play in people’s daily lives.
“Whether it’s a green, traffic-free route to work, a place to keep fit or just a quiet place to de-stress, the canal is on the doorstep and free for everyone to enjoy and these works will ensure more people can discover the benefits of spending time by the water.”
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Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council Leader Stuart Bray welcomed the improvements, saying: “The towpath improvements will make an attractive and accessible addition to the area and make it possible for even more residents to enjoy some pleasant and tranquil time waterside. Thanks to the Canal & River Trust for delivering these works, I look forward to seeing the new towpath in use.”
To find out about the work of the Canal & River Trust and how you can support, either through volunteering or making a donation visit www.canalrivertrust.org.uk.Enjoy more Towpath Talk reading in the monthly paper. Click here to subscribe.