Cotswold Canals: Dredging from Lodgemore to Wallbridge 2014

Posted on 20. Oct, 2014 by in Environment & Nature, Featured

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This 2 min film was uploaded by Cotswold Canals. The section of the Stroudwater Navigation from Lodgemore swing bridge to Wallbridge in Stroud had become solid with reeds, rubbish and full depth and silt. This had been the eastern end of the flood prevention scheme carried out by the Severn River Board in 1957 and 1958, when a barrier was constructed across the canal and the large overflow weir on the towpath side was obliterated, forcing all of the river water from the Painswick valley to run down the canal route through the site of Dudbridge locks.

Mature trees grow out of the neglected Painswick stream at this point, and it is hard to visualise that boats once passed ocassionally into the stream at this point to trade with the mill upstream. With the canal now useable by boats again from Stonehouse to near Lodgemore bridge, this was an important link in the restoration. The first lock of the Thames and Severn canal joins the Stroudwater Navigation at Wallbridge where clearance of trees had already been carried out by volunteers from Waterway Recovery Group (forestry division).
Thanks to the assistance of a £100,000 grant from VEOLIA ENVIRONMENTAL TRUST, dredging was carried out by Land & Water Services. State of the art tracked vehicles carried out the work, with a mini push Tug and two brand new mud hoppers (built in Birmingham) being used to move 100’s of cubic metres of nutrient rich dredgings along the length of the site.
Quite apart from the forthcoming rebuilding of structures at either end of this section which will allow boats to travel into Stroud, the environmental benefits immediately become obvious: a significant improvement in flood prevention for properties in the Wallbridge area of Stroud and an attractive open space with new towpath, where wildlife no longer has to struggle to survive amongst car tyres and household rubbish.

About Philip

Director and Co-Founder of Stroud Community TV

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