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‘Missing Mile’ work starts at Westfield Lock

Ecotricity works with Stroud District Council

Ecotricity has joined forces with Stroud District Council (SDC) to begin restoration of Westfield Lock on the south-east side of the proposed Eco Park development.

Work on Westfield Lock comes ahead of a planned Heritage Lottery bid later in 2017 to help fund restoration of the Stroudwater Canal ‘missing mile’, which runs through the Eco Park site, opening a link to the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal.

Ecotricity will help fund the lock restoration work on the edge of the Eco Park site near the existing Westfield Bridge, while Ecotricity staff have volunteered their time to work alongside volunteers from Stroud District Council, the Cotswold Canals Trust and visiting Waterway Recovery Group teams.

Significant Development

SDC Canal Project Manager, Dave Marshall, said: “We are ramping up volunteer-led work ahead of the Heritage Lottery bid. So, beginning work on Westfield Lock marks a significant development in the canal restoration project.

“We will begin with initial investigative work on the lock this week to determine its state of preservation before we start the restoration work in the Spring.”

SDC Restoration Volunteers commence exploratory work at Westfield Lock

The Missing Mile

Westfield Lock marks the start of the ‘missing mile’ of the Stroudwater Canal, which runs through the southern side of the Eco Park site, under the M5 motorway and through the nature reserve on the other side of the development.

The first stage of the Westfield Lock restoration project will begin in January 2017 and include:

  • ‘Time Team’ style scrapes and excavations to determine the layout of the lock
  • An assessment of the state of preservation / nature of the damage to the structure
  • The site will be fenced to ensure safety

Ecotricity founder Dale Vince said: “The regeneration of the canal, led by the council, is fantastic for Stroud. We will be supporting the funding bid and, if it’s successful, we’ll be making the land available to restore the ‘missing mile’.

“It would be great to see the canal project completed, we’d love to see the canal link between Stroud and Gloucester running through Eco Park.”

Eco Park

The Eco Park development is spread across 100 acres on three sides of Junction 13 of the M5, including a Sports Complex, a Green Technology Business hub and a nature reserve west of the M5.