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Studley Grange Progress Video
Friday, 11 September 2015 12:14

In June 2015  the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust appointed Land & Water Services Ltd to carry out the 1.2km of restoration works at Studley Grange Royal Wootton Bassett on the outskirts of Swindon.

On September 10th 2015 members of the Wiltshire Swindon and Oxfordshire Canal Partnership  were invited to see progress.

The short video shows the towpath now fully reinstated and work just beginning to excavate the canal bed.

Images from the site visit are available by clicking here

Funds are still needed to complete this project. Click here for more information

 

 
Update on The Wilts & Berks Canal Trust plans to turn a Landfill Site into a Wildlife Trail
Monday, 07 September 2015 17:07

Press Release from the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust

10th September 2015

Update on The Wilts & Berks Canal Trust plans to turn a Landfill Site into a Wildlife Trail

This exciting project at Royal Wootton Bassett has been under way since June with appointed contractors Land & Water Services Ltd carrying out the major earth works required to reconstruct this 1.25 kilometre section of the Wilts & Berks Canal.  Major works will be completed by mid October and will create a wildlife trail alongside a former landfill site, quite a contrast to the derelict place that it is at present.  The material excavated to form the canal will be used to cap off the landfill site, saving hundreds of lorry movements that would otherwise be needed to bring in the necessary material.  There will eventually be 24/7 access for all and this stretch will link with the already restored section around Chaddington Lock.

The Trust has appointed Kate Jones as project officer and she is involving the local community, especially children’s groups and schools who will be able to visit and help with planting and monitoring the return of the wildlife.

A scheme of this magnitude inevitably has rising costs so there is a continuing need for further funding for this scheme, and the Trust is extending its current funding appeal to be able to complete the project.

On Thursday10th September from 2pm the Trust and the contractors are arranging an opportunity to visit the site works.  (Please note that due to ground conditions this may be subject to last minute postponement.)

Members of the Press who wish to attend please contact Chris Coyle to confirm

Background

The Biffa landfill site near Royal Wootton Basset is no longer taking in rubbish, and is in the process of being finished off and landscaped.  The Wilts & Berks Canal Trust is working with Biffa on imaginative plans to restore the canal; but there is a lot more to it than that.  We plan to transform the canal corridor into a wildlife trail, and are involving Wiltshire Wildlife Trust and Friends of the Earth in the planning and execution of the work.

The site will close for good at the end of the year, so the Trust must complete the whole restoration this year.  Despite generous donations and grants the Trust needs to find a minimum of £50,000

How can the public help?

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Click to
Donate on line
Text to Donate
 to WBCT
   
 
For example - to give £5 Text:
WBCT25 £5 to 70070.

By cheque

Please make the cheque payable to Wilts & Berks Canal Trust and send it to:

Wilts & Berks Canal Trust PO Box 3630 SWINDON SN4 4AN

Please mark the envelope "Studley Appeal"

 

 

 

 
HRH The Duchess of Cornwall inaugurates New Landing Stage
Monday, 13 July 2015 19:43

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall and WBCT make Daily Mail news July 14th 2015

Duchess braves showers to open Wichelstowe Landing Stage Swindon Advertiser July 14th 2015

Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cornwall
arrives at Kingshill, Swindon and meets Dragonfly's crew

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 Skew Bridge

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Beavans Bridge

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The Landing Stage Wichelstowe  

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HRH The Duchess of Cornwall meeting Trust Workers

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Sorry about the weather, ma'am

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Swindon Advertiser 

Tuesday 14th July 2015

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The story of the building

of the Landing stage

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Important Announcements - Visit of Duchess of Cornwall & A New President
Tuesday, 30 June 2015 09:07

2010-09-08 001Wichelstowe Landing Stage - Press Release

The Trustees are delighted to announce that our Patron, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall will inaugurate the new Wichelstowe landing stage alongside Waitrose at West Wichel on the afternoon of Monday 13th July at 2.30 pm.

WP 20150628_002-1000Her Royal Highness will arrive at the event on our trip boat Dragonfly, and will unveil a commemorative plaque.  The unveiling ceremony will be attended by local dignitaries, Trust volunteers, sponsors and supporters, and we hope by a large number of Trust members.

Right The Duchess of Cornwall naming Dragonfly on 9th September 2009
Left Landing Stage on Sunday 28th June 2015
 

 New President

We are pleased to announce that the Trust has a new President.  The Hon Sir William McAlpine Bt FRSE  has kindly agreed to become our President with immediate effect. 

Sir William was a director of Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd for more than fifty years.  He is Chairman of: The Railway Heritage Trust - The Dart Valley Railway - Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway - SS Sir Walter Scott on Loch Katrine – Railnews - SONE (Supporters of Nuclear Energy).  Sir William is a Governor of Shiplake College and is President of the Transport Trust and other organisations.   Sir William has served for several terms on the ZSL Council (Zoological Society London) and is now on the Development Committee. He has accepted the Presidency of the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust as an extension of his interest in historic transport.

We are looking forward enormously to working with Sir William, and benefitting from his very extensive experience and expertise in the field of heritage transport.

We are very grateful to our previous President, Dr David Fletcher CBE, for his great support over many years, and are pleased that he has agreed to become one of our Vice-Presidents, so that we can continue our connection with him.

 

 
Roderick Bluh has accepted our invitation to become Chairman of the Trust.
Friday, 15 May 2015 09:19

Roderick Bluh  appointed Chairman of the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust

The Wilts & Berks Canal Trust is delighted to announce the appointment of Roderick Bluh as its Chairman. The appointment was ratified at the meeting of the Trust’s directors.

The Trust has invited Roderick Bluh to become its Chairman because of his enthusiasm and support for the restoration of the canal, and his belief in the enormous potential benefits, both economic and social, it could bring to Swindon.

Kath Hatton, Vice-Chairman of the Trust, said:

“The Trust is thrilled that Roderick Bluh has accepted our invitation to become our Chairman.  He has long been a supporter of the restoration of the Wilts & Berks Canal, and we are looking forward to benefiting from his knowledge and experience.  His well-known skills of organisation and management will be invaluable to the Trust as we re-organise ourselves to manage the changes coming about.  The pace of the restoration is quickening, with more and bigger projects coming along, and we need to be ready for them.  In addition of course he has a deep knowledge of the town of Swindon, which the Trust sees as having the potential to become the hub of a southern canals network.”

Roderick Bluh recently stood down as a local councillor in Swindon, and previously he was Leader of the Council from 2006 to 2013.  He said:

“I am honoured to be asked by the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust to be their Chairman.  It is something that I see as being a huge asset for all communities along its route, and something which has the potential to bring economic, social and environmental benefits to the town of Swindon, as well as to our neighbouring counties of Wiltshire and Oxfordshire.  Of course, I know the plans for the canal in Swindon very well, but I am looking forward to learning about the plans for restoration all along the rest of the line, especially with major schemes like the Melksham Link now so imminent.  The major developments planned for the Wichelstowe area, and in the Eastern Villages, will give great opportunities to extend the canal, which will be a very considerable amenity for these new communities.”

Contact: Chris Coyle 07710 737166 or by EMail

Swindon Advertiser 18th May 2015

 



 
Abandoned Section of Canal to be brought back to life
Sunday, 03 May 2015 05:57

ABANDONED SECTION OF THE WILTS & BERKS  CANAL TO BE BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE THANKS TO £575,000 OF GRANTS

StudleyA DERELICT stretch of abandoned canal will soon be brought back to life after the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust has received £575,000 of grants.

This funding will be used to restore the canal  and create a wildlife corridor at Studley Grange.

Work will begin this month on transforming the 1.25km stretch between Royal Wootton Bassett and Swindon, thanks to support from Viridor Credits through the Landfill Community Fund , and the People’s Millions, the Inland Waterways Association and the Underwood Trust.

It will link with the restored section at Chaddington Lock with the ultimate aim of forming a navigable waterway from the Kennet & Avon Canal near Melksham to the Thames & Severn Canal near Cricklade and the River Thames near Abingdon.

Chad

 

Kath Hatton is the vice-chairman of the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust and the charity’s fundraising director. She said: “We are really excited that this section of the waterway will soon be restored thanks to the generous support of so many organisations. “It will be a complex operation as the canal was filled in when it was abandoned in the early part of the last century, so contractors will need to excavate the route and then dispose of the soil on the adjacent former landfill site as part of a new landscaping scheme. “The damaged towpath will be reinstated and piling work will be required to stabilise some of the canal bank. However, once the work has been completed we will have a wonderful new wildlife haven which will be freely accessible to the local community.”

 

The Viridor Credits Environmental Company was established in 2001 to distribute funding via the Landfill Communities Fund. Their award of more than £349,500 is the largest single grant ever made to the Canal Trust.

 

Location Map-1000The Underwood Trust, a long-time supporter, is co-funding the excavation of Studley Grange. It is also funding the planting of the wildlife corridor in association with Wiltshire Wildlife Trust and Friends of the Earth (The Bee Cause). The hope is that the corridor will be extended along the length of the canal.

A grant from the People’s Millions will provide a multi-use surface to the towpath and a share of the planting for the wildlife corridor, as well as bird and bat boxes, benches and leaning posts and support for community involvement in the project.

SG Location

 

Kath added: “This will be an amazing attraction when finished, but the Trust still needs to continue fundraising for some of the preliminary works including site clearance and ground investigations in order to release further funding. Our own members have already raised nearly £10,000 but we need to reach £25,000 to unlock the rest of the support which has been promised. Therefore we hope that local residents and businesses will recognise the value of this scheme and offer their own donations to help us bring the canal back to life.”

 

Studley Grange funding appeal  - Can you help ?

 

PLEASE NOTE  General access to the site will not be possible during the period of the works . Escorted visits may be possible by contacting Kath Hatton or Chris Coyle.

Images 
Studley Grange & Chaddington sections of the canal (Justin Guy) Location map and aerial view (Google)

 

 

 
Urgent Funding Appeal for the Studley Grange Project
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 06:52

This exciting project at Royal Wootton Bassett will restore 1.25 kilometre section of the Wilts & Berks Canal and will create a wildlife trail alongside a former landfill site, quite a contrast to the derelict place that it is at present.  There will be 24/7 access for all and this stretch will link with the already restored section around Chaddington Lock. We will be involving the local community especially the children’s groups and schools who will be able to visit and help with planting and monitoring the return of the wildlife. 

We need over £600,000 overall and have a complicated mix of potential funding for the various aspects of the project, some secured and some where decisions are awaited. This includes grants from the People’s Millions, IWA, the Underwood Trust, the Landfill Community Fund and others.

How can you help?       

We now have an urgent situation where we need to start on preliminary works ahead of the main excavation and need approximately £50,000 in the next few weeks. These works will include site clearance, ground investigation, land drainage consent and confirmation of the methodology for the works. One of our funders will release some of their funding for this as long as we can match it and so our appeal is to raise £25000 so that we can start these preliminary tasks.

Can you help with a donation?  Every pound we receive will release another pound of funding.

NB. If the monies raised exceed the preliminary works, your donation will be used for other matched funding or to fund a contributing Third Party payment to a Landfill Operator.

 You can donate on line :

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Donate on line
Text to Donate  
   

https://mydonate.bt.com/ charities/wiltsberkscanaltrust

You can give via TEXT   -for example - to give £5   Text:  WBCT25 £5 to 70070

(just a note here for anyone nervous of trying this – I tried the text-giving the other night for the first time to make sure  it worked and it is very easy even on a pay-as-you-go mobile (Kath). It works with any amount.)

You can send a cheque made payable to Wilts & Berks Canal Trust to:

Wilts & Berks Canal Trust PO Box 3630  SWINDON SN4 4AN

Please mark the cheque Studley Appeal

Gift Aid

If you have not completed a Gift Aid form  and would like your donation to  eligible for gift aid  for this and any other donations to  Wilts & Berks Canal Trust please email us and we will send one out for you to complete.

The amount raised up to June  17th £11138 - Many thanks to those who have given

 

 
Good news ! Two successful funding grants announced :
Friday, 28 November 2014 00:00

with cheque-1000People’s Millions

The Studley  Wildlife trail has been awarded £50k to create a wildlife corridor along the restored canal  creating a standing water habitat and with a multi-use path. A kilometre of canal banks will be planted with a variety of hedging, shrubs and wild flowers aiming to provide food and shelter for wild bees, insects and for water voles and wildfowl. Town Crier_50000Benches and leaning posts will be provided so people can enjoy this peaceful haven. Bat and bird boxes will be installed to encourage a variety of species. This will provide a traffic free route for walking and cycling.

Yorkshire Building Society – Lasting Legacy

The Cocklemore Brook culvert repair  has been awarded £10k to  complete the restoration of this  200year old structure.

Both grants  were awarded on the results of a competitive public vote  so many thanks to  all members and friends who  made this a wonderful success.

Swindon Advertiser Saturday 29th November 2014

 

The Wilts & Berks Canal Wildlife Trail at Studley Grange Royal Wootton Bassett  was chosen as a finalist in this year’s Big Lottery Fund Peoples Millions

This opportunity for £50k funding was decided on a telephone vote on the night of November 26th

http://www.peoplesmillions.org.uk/2014-finalists/west-country-east/studley-wildlife-trail

Read the Swindon Advertiser November 11th 

Plus Editorial Comment

 

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AGM 2014
Thursday, 23 October 2014 05:24

The Canal Trust's Annual General Meeting was held on Saturday 18th October 2014 at the Old Mill Hall Grove

AGM 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Presentations on the Trust's activities during the past year were made followed by awards for volunteering and recruitment of members.

For 2013/14 the Awards were:

Pick of the Branches Award Foxham & Lynham

Tony Davy Rose Bowl award  ( most recorded volunteer  hours) Chris Coyle

Branch most recorded volunteer hours  MCC

Branch biggest increase in volunteer hours Royal Wootton Bassett

 
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