Hot weather halts dredging programme

THE Canal & River Trust’s dredging programme on the Grand Union Canal in Milton Keynes has had to be temporarily halted due to concerns that falling oxygen levels in the water during the hot weather could become too low to support the fish that live in the canal.

So far, roughly 1500m3 of silt – which is approximately 18,500 bath tubs worth – has been removed from the canal and the Trust wants to remove a further 1000m3 from various sections between Wolverton and Milton Keynes. Once removed the silt is being recycled and used as bank protection.

The project is costing the Trust around £250,000 and was due to finish this summer but with the current heat wave, the Trust has decided to halt the project and restart it in the winter.

Paul Fox, from the Canal & River Trust, said: “The removal of silt that has built up over the years will make it easier for boaters to navigate and moor along this popular stretch of canal.  I am sorry that we’ve not been able to complete the project in one go – it has been difficult to maintain the oxygen levels in the water during the heat wave. As a result we’ve reluctantly decided to temporality stop work and come back and finish the project later in the year when the weather is cooler.”

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