Branches Melksham Calne & Chippenham News
Fit Fundraisers Walk the Wilts & Berks
Tuesday, 27 April 2010 19:05

Fundraisers on Walk the Wilts & BerksFUNDRAISERS took a last look at an empty canal-bed before it is filled with water for the first time in more than a century.

The Wilts & Berks Canal Trust held its annual sponsored walk on Sunday morning, following the former line of the waterway from Chippenham to Lacock.

Around 150 people enjoyed the four-mile journey through open countryside and past the remains of locks, dry-docks and cottages.
Some groups took up the challenge to walk the route while carrying boats of all shapes and sizes, from small models up to inflatable dinghies - and even a Viking longship left over from a school play!

Later this year, the charity hopes to start engineering work to fill most of the stretch with water as part of its ongoing restoration campaign.

Event organiser Peter Williams said: "We were delighted to see so many people of all ages taking part in the event. The weather had been forecast to rain but we actually enjoyed bright and sunny weather all the way to Lacock. Walkers were able to see just how much of the canal has already been restored, including towpaths, culverts and even an entire bridge. Everyone agreed that the area now looks much more attractive and has become a haven for local wildlife. But this will be the last time they can see so much of the empty canal-bed as we aim to start filling it with water later in the summer. Together with the stretches which have already been refilled closer to Lacock, we hope it will bring us a big step closer to full restoration."

Groups taking part included Redland Primary School, St Paul's Primary School, Chippenham Sea Cadets, Chippenham Air Training Corps and Calne Air Training Corps.