New trust gets £10,000

Published: Wednesday, 13 March 2019

A NEW waterways trust has received an award from the National Lottery Community Fund of £10,000, that it will use for publicity and equipment.

WiltsBerksWessex Waterways Restoration Trust that is still establishing itself within the canal restoration movement has been awarded the money that it will use to purchase publicity material, banners, a marque, a trailer and such as strimmers and mowers.

Currently inaccessible

Its intention is to continue work that has already been carried out on the Wilts & Berks Canal by working on lengths of towpath and canal which are currently inaccessible and with landowner support and permission, to open them up to the public. The photograph shows a derelict lock on the waterway.

The trust also hopes to undertake minor rebuild and repair work on structures such as accommodation bridges and locks, that can be undertaken at relatively low cost, with a spokesman explaining:

"It of course needs to recruit members from all the relevant disciplines—planners, engineers, fund raisers etc.the list goes on, but at the heart of it all will always be the ‘navvy’. We are still in the process of negotiating for work sites and, very importantly, recruiting members. When forming the trust we were very well aware that there was a growing need for ‘hands on’ work for enthusiastic canal volunteers, and this is what we will provide."

Anyone interested in joining us please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The photograph shows the present members



The Wilts & Berks Canal was opened in 1810, connecting the Kennet & Avon Canal at Semington to the Thames at Abingdon via Swindon. There were branches to Chippenham, Calne, Longcot and Wantage.

Most trade on the canal had ceased by 1900 and the canal was officially abandoned in 1914.

In 1977 the restoration of the old canal was begun by enthusiastic volunteers, and is now regarded the longest canal restoration in the country.

The Wessex Waterways Restoration Trust was formed to complement the work already being undertaken by other organisations.