Kennet & Avon Canal dredging already pays off

Boats on the Kennet & Avon Canal have been benefiting from a recently completed dredging programme on the canal near Hungerford, the Canal & River Trust said. photo

The specialist project was part of the Trust’s ongoing work to protect and keep open the 200-year-old canal for the benefit of boaters, towpath users and wildlife.

The dredging, carried out over nine weeks and completed this spring, removed 6,000 cubic metres of silt, enough to fill two-and-a-half Olympic swimming pools. It cost the canal charity £400,000 – money it raises from many sources, including boat licence fees and donations.

Completion of the dredging has improved the stretch of canal between Dun Mill Lock and Marsh Lock along the 87-mile manmade canal. And with the canal busy with boats over Easter and heading into summer, it provides an important boost for canal-led tourism and jobs, the Canal & River Trust said. photo

According to Peter Birch, asset manager at the Canal & River Trust: “Dredging is part of the regular cycle of maintenance we are constantly doing to keep the canal open and available for the benefit of people and nature.”

“Over 9,000 tonnes of material was removed from the canal between Locks 73 and 75 with most of the material helping to improve the soil on a farmer’s field on the outskirts of Hungerford.”