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Project information

Enhancement of the Pewsham canal corridor

To enhance the area for visits from the local communities by dredging the canal & improving the towpath. The re-watering will give new opportunities for boating, fishing & canoeing and will increase the wildlife interest for walkers & cyclists. The improved towpath will allow access for all.

January 2011 - October 2011

Charity information: Wilts & Berks Canal Trust

Wilts & Berks Canal Trust logo
  • Need


    All traffic on this section ceased in 1901 and the canal fell into decay. The bed is largely intact but is silted up. There are some breaches in the bank and in places the towpath needs raising. Some of the culverts need repair. Most of the 1200m was overgrown with scrub and trees and was cleared by our volunteers. This section is a vital part of the restoration of this historic canal.


    Dredging commenced this summer on this 1200m section between Pewsham Locks and Double Bridge. About 900m is now complete and visitors on foot & bike have been amazed at the difference. Water is back and the wildlife will follow. We now need another £28000 to complete the remaining 300m dredging, repairs to culverts and the raising and reinstatement of the towpath. When complete this section will connect to a previously restored length to the South, giving about 2000m of re-watered canal.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Complete restoration of the section of Canal between Double bridge and Pewsham Locks


    » Complete the dredging of the canal bed and repair breaches in the bank.
    » Finish culvert repairs and re-puddle with clay over the culverts. Re-water canal.
    » Raise banks where necessary, compact and reshape embankment, level and re-lay towpath with hard surface.

    What success will look like

    Success will be increased visitor numbers on foot and on bikes, new opportunity for water-based activities such as canoeing, increased wild fowl, birds, bats and insects

  • Impact


    This section of restoration of the canal is part of the overall plan to restore the whole canal from Semington to Abingdon and therefore join the navigation to the national waterway network. Each section that is restored acts as a catalyst for the next part. We will judge the success of the project by monitoring the views of visitors and by the amount of volunteers and members that we gain.


    While the work is actually being carried out, the towpath has to be closed for the heath and safety of the visitors. Any closure is well advertised with notices locally and we will re-open the path as soon as possible.


    Our progress is well documented in the local press and also the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust publishes a quarterly magazine called Dragonfly. Donors can request a copy of this.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £28,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £20,000 Towpath repair Raising the height and widening and improving the surface
      £6,000 Dredging/rewater 300 m of canal
      £2,000 Culvert repair Essential for holding water in the canal
  • Background


    This project is close to the town of Chippenahm and many families visit the canal to walk and cycle and to enjoy the peace and tranquility. Visitors also come from the surrounding towns and villages, such as Melksham, Calne and Lacock.


    Using surveys that we have carried out, we estimate at least 15,600 people a year will benefit from these improvements. Also wildlife will benefit from the newly re-watered canal corridor and in turn will provide more interest for the visitors. On a nearby more established canal, endangered species such as water voles have returned.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Wilts & Berks Canal Trust has carried out restoration for some years now and has a number of volunteers who work in a very professional way. We consult with land owners, local communities and waterway groups to achieve the best results.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Colin Fletcher

    He is the Project Manager for this section and has an excellent knowledge of this stretch of canal and has the respect of all who work with him.