Wilts & Berks Canal Trust to restore derelict stretch

Wilts & Berks Canal Image copyright Wilts & Berks Canal Trust
Image caption The trust said the canal has been derelict for a century

A derelict stretch of Wiltshire canal which was filled in and abandoned last century is to be restored.

The Wilts & Berks Canal Trust says it has raised £575,000 in grants to breathe life back into the canal at Studley Grange.

It wants to form a navigable waterway between the Kennet & Avon Canal, Thames & Severn Canal and the River Thames.

Work is expected to begin this month on the 1.2km (0.7m) stretch between Royal Wootton Bassett and Swindon.

Image copyright Wilts & Berks Canal Trust
Image caption The trust wants to restore the canal and introduce wildlife trails to the area

Kath Hatton, vice-chairman of the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust, said: "It will be a complex operation....so contractors will need to excavate the route and then dispose of the soil on the adjacent former landfill site as part of a new landscaping scheme.

"The damaged towpath will be reinstated and piling work will be required to stabilise some of the canal bank.

"However, once the work has been completed we will have a wonderful new wildlife haven which will be freely accessible to the local community."

The trust is fundraising for some of the preliminary works including site clearance and ground investigations.

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