As the restoration of the Wilts & Berks canal is becoming a more and more complex undertaking, it was felt by many people that the smaller projects were being, to some extent, overlooked.
Maintenance in some areas was not being carried out and very little new work was being started. Experianced volunteers were drifting away looking for other challenges.
WWRT intends to work on existing and selected new projects as well as maintaining areas where work has already been carried out but is currently being neglected.
This is why we need your help.
How can you help
As a signed up member of WWRT you are already helping by showing your support.
If you would like to become actively involved then there are many ways in which you can help.
Project workparty leaders will always be pleased to accept new volunteers: no skills necessary, on site training as required.
Or perhaps organising your own project.
Not to be forgotten, the essential 'back-room-boys': Publicity, fund raising and logistics.
A Toe in the Water
The opportunity to make our presence felt at the IWA Festival of Water held over the August Bank Holiday at St Neots on the River Ouse was too good to miss. Although not having very much time to prepare, we put on a reasonable display and were able to talk to many people, including old friends. Once the rationale for the new Trust was explained most people were generally supportive. For some of us it was just like old times. Wet, Windy and a Waterway Festival.
We have three viable established projects
From Foxham Top Lock east to the Elephant spillweir this is a long established site, currently being managed by the 'Friends of Foxham'. most of the canal is in water and the towpath is in excellent condition.. A lift bridge and a draw bridge have already been built, but there are several other bridges that need either modifying or to be rebuilt.
Dauntsey Lock East
Early in the history of the restoration this was one of the first worksites. Dauntsey Lock has been rebuilt by a combination of volunteers, WRG and visiting groups. Over a mile of canal towpath has been cleared and the canal is in water. There is still plenty of work to be done on this section, and as an added bonus for the technically minded there is a historic 'pusher tug' in need of renovation.
For over eleven years the 'Latton Basin Restoration' team have worked on the transhipment basin, lock, aqueduct and several hundred yards of canal and towpath. This has generally been regarded as an 'Heritage' project as it contains some unique features. A lot has already been achieved on the infrastructure, and the canal bed is kept clear and dry, while the towpath is part of a circular walk. Eventual connection to the Thames & Severn Canal would allow for a short arm in to Cricklade.