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factual
OPEN COUNTRY
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Open Country
Sat  6.10 - 6.35am
Thurs 1.30 - 2.00pm (rpt)
Local people making their corner of rural Britain unique
This week
Saturday 2 June 2007
Listen to this programme in full
boat in lapworthlock
The Stratford Upon Avon Canal was the first of the country's canals to be regenerated , paving the way for the country's current leisure waterways.  Helen Mark takes a trip along it.
Helen  joins Louise North aboard her narrow boat, taking a small trip along the canal. Along the way, she learns a bit about its history from Nick Billingham, a local historian and author of several books about the canal.

People aren't the only ones who use the canals. Plants and animals, some quite rare, use many of the sites along the canal for their homes. Helen chats with John Johnson and Mark Robinson from British Waterways  about what they're doing to balance the needs of boaters and wildlife.

Later,  she meets Les Sumpter, British Waterways lockkeeper of the year. He teaches her the easy way to navigate some of the 56 locks along the canal. Locks aren't the only architectural features on the canal. Its 26 mile length is home to several unique structures, including the split bridge. Canal artist Dusty Miller explains why they're there.

Finally, Helen learns how the canal was saved from decommissioning from Clive Henderson of the Stratford Upon Avon Canal Society. It was all down to a couple of men in canoes.

Press Listen Again for your trip down the canal.


 
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