Kennet and Avon canal reopened to boats

Kennet and Avon Canal A stretch of the Kennet and Avon Canal had been closed since November

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A 10-mile stretch of the Kennet and Avon Canal, which has been shut since November due to a lack of water, has reopened.

More than 90 boats had been stranded between Crofton Lock, near Wilton, Wiltshire, and Copse Lock, near Hamstead Marshall, Berkshire.

A British Waterways spokesman said ground water had been at its lowest level for 90 years.

Those boats wanting to move east have until 9 January.

Planned maintenance work at Beech Grove and Hungerford Marsh locks is due to start then.

Padlocks placed on the 39 affected locks were removed earlier.

"The recent heavy rain has taken us in the right direction but we really need sustained rain over the next few months to raise the ground water levels," the British Waterways spokesman added.

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