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Thanks and congratulations to everyone who has helped with clearing the reeds that have been building up at East Wichel, Swindon. We've so far had two reed removal events, but there will be more. Read on to get involved.

 

 

 

We would like to share our plans for the future with you, and so please see the link below for the Wiltshire, Swindon and Oxfordshire canal partnership strategy for complete restoration and development of the Wilts and Berks canal. The original document is 117 pages long, so we have produced an abridged version for easier reading - please excuse the incorrect page numbers as a result of this.

Click here to view PDF.

Voting is open for the public to choose the best civil engineering scheme in the South West, and the canalside development at Wichelstowe is one of the nominees. "Besides the economic and social benefits to the local community, the restored section of the canal has enhanced a key foraging and movement corridor for wildlife. With the opposite bank being naturalised with a marginal shelf, aquatic planting and an ecology zone providing native planting."

We want to recruit 2020 new members in 2020. We chose the number because it's easy to remember and ambitious. We need to build our base of committed members to drive forward the biggest canal restoration project in England.

Most canal users are not in boats, but on the towpath – walking, cycling, fishing, or just out there enjoying the tranquility. In wooded areas, the Japanese call it shinrin-yoku – forest bathing – but just being by water engenders feelings of relaxation. Part of this is being in the presence of wildlife, and canals, as blue-green corridors, have wildlife aplenty!

Dragonfly is our narrowboat, probably the best known and loved attraction on the Wilts & Berks Canal restoration project. She has worked hard and reliably as our main canal trip boat for 10 years giving laughs and smiles to residents and visitors to Swindon alike and even been the venue for a marriage proposal. She is crewed by our volunteers and has been cruising the Wichelstowe canal happily, join us in supporting her for the next ten years. Please donate generously.

Quiz night for Canal Trust 

Sadly due to coronavirus the quiz night has been cancelled. We hope to be able to run the next one on October 16th.

The restoration of a local waterway will receive a welcome boost from a charity’s annual quiz night next month.

The Melksham, Chippenham & Calne branch of the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust is holding the popular event at the Neeld in Chippenham town centre on the evening of Friday 17 April.

Entry is £15 per team of up to four people, with refreshments and a licensed bar available. 

The event starts at 7.30 pm with doors opening at 7 pm.

The Trust has set as one of its top priority targets the completion of the canal from Swindon to Royal Wootton Bassett, where there are already significant lengths in water and more planned and consented. The big barrier, of course, has always been the M4 motorway, which cuts the original line of the canal near Junction 16. A new crossing point has been identified, where the road is high enough to get the canal underneath. This image shows the planned location. 

Wichelstowe was packed with hundreds of festive canal lovers on the chilly night of December 4th. Santa arrived on Dragonfly accompanied by additional reindeer boats!