5th February – Grindley Brook, Llangollen Canal in Shropshire
Carrying out repairs to locks 1, 2 and 6 – some of the busiest locks on the canal network. Locks 1 and 2 are staircase locks, where the top gate of one is the bottom gate of the next. Visitors will have the opportunity to go into the bottom of the drained locks as our specialist carpenters reline the gates to improve their fit which will help save water on this busy stretch of canal.
18th & 19th February – Hertford Union Canal
This London canal adjacent to Victoria Park in Tower Hamlets is one of the busiest on the network – both with boats on the water and people using the towpath. At almost 200 years old, the walls which make up the side of the canal are in need of restoration and repair. To do this, the Trust will be draining the stretch of canal between Junction Bridge and Lock 1 – rehoming the fish to the adjacent stretch of canal which will remain full of water – and then carefully repairing the walls using traditional building techniques. Visitors will be able to take a walk along the bottom of the drained canal for a rare ‘fish-eye’s-view’ of the repairs to one of London’s waterway gems.
26th February, 10am–4pm – Seend Lock 18, Kennet & Avon Canal, near The Barge Inn
The five locks at Seend on the Kennet & Avon Canal were once a hive of activity with trade. Today, they are a picture of tranquillity. This winter the Trust is replacing some lock gates, each handmade at our specialist workshop, which will be carefully craned into position to keep this busy canal open and available for boaters. The Trust’s specialists will be on hand to talk about the works taking place as well as the wider efforts to look after this 200-year-old canal which has become a haven for boaters, locals, tourists and wildlife.
26th and 27th February – Anderton Boat Lift, River Weaver
Family friendly activities and an insight into the repair works taking place at the lift. Visitors will hear about the works taking place and the effort to keep this ‘wonder of the waterways’ operating for years to come. There will also be an insight into a £multi-million future refurbishment of the ‘Cathedral of the Canals’ currently being planned – what is set to be the biggest refurbishment of the Lift since its restoration 20 years ago.
26th & 27th February, 10am–4pm – Newark Town Lock, Newark
Newark was once an important port on the mighty River Trent. Today, exploring the lovely old riverside buildings provides a great family day out. This open day is hoping to give visitors the opportunity to take a tour down into the bottom of the drained Newark Town Lock as the Canal & River Trust carries out important maintenance and repairs to the historic structure. There will be refreshments and family friendly activities available in the lock-side garden, and an opportunity to visit the town’s dry dock – the largest inland dry dock in the UK.
12th March, 10am–2pm – Lock 9, Rochdale Canal, Hebden Bridge.
The Trust is carrying out important water saving repairs to this historic lock. The public footbridge provides a perfect viewing platform down into the drained lock, and the Trust’s specialists will be on-hand to describe the work taking place and to host some fun family canal-themed activities. Coincide the event with a visit to the town’s independent shops, galleries and cafes for a great family day out.
VIRTUAL OPEN DAYS
Bath, Claverton and Foxhangars Pumping Stations, Kennet & Avon Canal.
Bingley Five Rise, Leeds & Liverpool Canal – lock gate replacement.
Hertford Union Canal – as above – draining a stretch of canal to repair the wall using traditional techniques.
Leeds & Liverpool Canal – breach at Rishton.
Lock 3 at Ryders Green, Walsall Canal – lock gate replacement.
Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal – draining of a mile stretch of canal to carry out bridge and culvert repairs.
Watford Flight, Grand Union Canal.