The Canal and River Trust, the guardian of 2,000 miles of historic waterways across England and Wales, has started work on a project to dredge sections of the 78 mile Kennet and Avon Canal.
The work, which is costing the Trust £1 million and will last two years, will focus on areas along the Kennet and Avon Canal where boaters are having difficulty mooring, navigating through bridges or getting stuck on the approach to locks.
In total, around 21,000 tonnes of silt will be removed from the canal, the Trust said.
Paul Fox, from the Canal & River Trust, said: “We’ve already started dredging along the canal near Crofton and should be finished by Christmas. After Christmas we plan to start dredging in the Horton area and will be in this area for a few weeks.”
“We plan to recycle as much of the silt as possible to agricultural land which has the benefit of being both environmentally friendly and cheaper.”
Using a floating dredger, silt and debris which has built up along the bottom of the canal over a number of years, will be removed from the bottom of the waterway.
Once collected, the silt will be recycled to agricultural land alongside the canal.