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Studley Grange canal construction update
Friday, 04 December 2015 12:32

Studley Grange canal construction now due to be completed in the New Year and tow path planting will take place in the Spring.

Image SG-1000The restoration of the 1.2km stretch of canal at Studley Grange has  been an active project now for some years but it was only in the  last year that WBCT managed to complete the environmental impact study around the adjacent landfill site, and also conclude the discussions with BIFFA  Waste Ltd who own the route and who have been most supportive. BIFFA have agreed to lease the canal route to the Trust at a token rent for the foreseeable future.

The subsequent construction tendering process resulted in Land and Water Services(LAWS) starting work in June, with a completion date of 9th November 2015.  Despite ecology studies and a pre-commencement walk over the site   the unexpected discovery of a Great Crested Newt resulted in the requirement for further ecologist input and investigation prior to undertaking site clearance and excavation. 

LAWS were back at work in July but since then two additional issues have emerged:

First, land slippage may require an element of re-design following discussions between WYG and Land and Water. Second, LAWS have determined that the site conditions have had an impact on the construction process and they have therefore taken the decision to postpone further works until the winter weather has passed.

The WBCT project team  is frustrated  that this work could not be completed this year but if you visit Bincknoll Lane you will see what looks like a completed canal. Unfortunately as the towpath works have yet to be completed it is not yet possible to access this section of canal. 

Next year: The new stretch will  be completed as early as possible in 2016  and  it is hoped that work will re-commence in April/May, the exact date dependent on how wet this winter is. The towpath surfacing will be one of the first jobs and that will allow the planting of the banks, marginal areas and hedgerow infilling to be done. Kate Jones, our project leader for the Wildlife Trail, is organising some brilliant interpretation boards and leaflets with local students doing a lot of the illustrations.