Canal Project Latest Report

A report by Dave Marshall – Stroud District Council

A look at the progress of five projects.

Dudbridge

As well as the damage to the bypass channel reported last month, a further problem has come to light here. Water has displaced around 100 bricks from the bottom of the canal (the ‘invert’). These were not replaced during the recent refurbishment work and the cause is not clear. Meanwhile, investigations are underway to establish the exact cause of the damage to the bypass.

Wallbridge Lower Lock

There has been a slight delay on the start of work here. Alun Griffiths Ltd. the Abergavenny based Civil Engineering company is expected to begin setting up their site on 9th June. The delay was due to the need to get temporary Flood Defence Consent from the Environment Agency. The company will be widening and deepening the channel above the lock, before constructing a bypass to carry the flow of Slad Brook around the lock. This will include a fish and eel pass, allowing migration upstream, which is not currently possible.
Once the necessary consents have been obtained from the Environment Agency the contractors, Land & Water Services, expect to begin dredging below the lock in July.
In the meantime, it is good to see that McCarthy & Stone is making good progress with the bored piled wall, necessary to retain their site overlooking the lock.

Capels Mill

Three temporary sculptures are currently sited IN the canal as part of the annual Stroud Site Festival.
A large sculpture, designed by local artist Sam Freeman, winner of the canal ‘Search for a Sculptor’ competition is now taking shape at Pangolin Editions, who have sponsored the competition to the tune of £12,500. Sam’s work will be installed once our volunteers have constructed ten concrete pads high on the bank overlooking the canal and railway viaduct.

Bowbridge

Work on building the retaining wall below the vets’ surgery is complete. Unfortunately a section of the old wharf wall above the lock on the towpath side collapsed last week; necessitating towpath closure on safety grounds. It had been noticed that the wall had no foundation and preparations were underway to rebuild it on a concrete foundation. This will still take place, but with a delay while the collapsed material is removed.

Living Waterway Awards

We submitted 6 award applications, with 5 shortlisted. Judging took place last week. We’ll be holding our breath until September, when the winners will be announced at a ceremony in Leeds. The Living Waterway Awards replace the Waterway Renaissance Awards, in which the Cotswold Canals project has been singularly successful in the last 3 years.

And finally… We now have 1,624 people following the latest canal news on Twitter @cotswoldcanals