Branches Swindon
Swindon Restoration Projects


Wichelstowe

The area to the south of Swindon is currently being constructed as a community called Wichelstowe. Bordered by the M4 to the south, Croft Road to the east, and the railway main line to the west, much of the infrastructure is now being built including the canal. Many of the houses in the eastern village called East Wichel have also been completed but overall progress has been slowed by the recent recession.

During 2010 the first new lock on the new main line of the canal was built. The length of canal from this lock eastwards for about 800m has also been completed.  The next section eastwards from the new Blackhorse Way bridge to Croft Road crossing will include another new lock.

The original canal line from Kingshill south to the new Waitrose Store was restored some years ago.  The old line will be restored for another 300m south to join the new line.  From here the route to Royal Wootton Bassett follows a new alignment towards junction 16 before turning south to a new proposed culvert under the M4.

The next step is to link the new length at East Wichel to the old line at Waitrose.  Progress on this section is dependent upon agreement with the council and their appointed developers. We expect to see progress later in 2015.

When Wichelstowe is completed over 4km of canal will be restored or newly constructed. This is part of the bypass to the south of Swindon to ensure that we can link Melksham to Abingdon with this canal.

More information about the Wichelstowe Development can be found on their website: www.wichelstowe.co.uk.

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 April 2015 17:21
 
Other Projects

We have several projects in the early stages of development along the lines defined by the Swindon Local Plan 2026, which gives a strong measure of support and protection to the future of the canal.  We would love to have the whole route fully designed but are restrained by the resources available.  Sometimes we have to start work to respond to other developments.  Projects at an early stage of development include the following.

Eastern Swindon

The planned Eastern Villages scheme for new housing together with the proposed access road will affect much of the canal route from the crossing under the A419 near junction 15 to Acorn Bridge on the A420.  This is a complex area with considerable drainage and flooding problems for the existing and new developments.  Outline schemes are being drawn up for discussion with other involved parties.

Moredon & Cheney Manor

This section of the North Wilts line south of the Purton Road crossing at Mouldon Hill will be affected by the proposed Thamesdown Drive Extension and redevelopment of the Cheney Manor industrial area.  We are in the very early stage of looking at our options for this section.

Blackhorse Way

The short length of canal including one lock immediately east of Blackhorse Way bridge (this is the new distributor road parallel to the motorway through Wichelstowe) is a section which is not expected to be affected by any further development at Wichelstowe and so is open to us to prepare for its construction.

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 April 2015 17:23
 
Cricklade Country Way

The Trust  is one of the partners in the Cricklade Country Way project. There is more information  on the project  web site- click here for more information.

 

The Cricklade Country Way is a unique exciting scheme that has been planned over a number of years. It was the subject of a major Lottery bid in 2007/08 but unfortunately failed to make the final cut. The Mouldon Hill Country Park is effectively phase 1 of the scheme, which is still a long term project.

The project will create a green recreational and wildlife corridor linking urban Swindon to Cricklade and the Cotswold Water Park. 

The Cricklade Country Way will start at Mouldon Hill on the northern edge of Swindon and when it is complete, as well as enjoying the Country Park, visitors will be able to travel between Swindon, Cricklade and the Cotswold Water Park by cycle and footway, by canal and by the heritage railway. The canal provides the essential link between Swindon and the Thames and Severn Canals and thus the River Thames.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 April 2015 14:56
 
Breathing Places - River Ray Valley Moredon
moredon1_300

This project is clearing the towpath on a derelict in-filled section of the canal to allow access to the area as part of the BBC/Big Lottery Fund Breathing Places. River Ray Valley, Moredon, Swindon: Breathing Places - Towpath and canal bed restoration.

Last Updated on Sunday, 21 March 2010 11:32
Read more...
 
Swindon Mouldon Hill


purton_road_200moredonlock_200In partnership with Swindon Borough Council the Trust restored this section of the canal as part of Mouldon Hill Country Park and the Cricklade County Way. The section of canal has the restored aqueduct over the River Ray, the last of the 3 Moredon locks and the newly built canal crossing under Thamesdown Way at Purton Road.  Further work to reduce leakage and improve its usability is under way.

Cricklade Country Way Project

Moulden Hill Country Park

More than one kilometre of the North Wilts Branch from Swindon to the Thames and Severn Canal near Latton forms the southern boundary of the Mouldon Hill Country Park.   It provides a walking route along the towpath from the bridge at Purton Road / Thamesdown Drive to the restored aqueduct over the River Ray at the west end of the park.  This section was restored some years ago but it has a long history of engineering problems and needs further work to reduce leakage and stabilise the hillside above it. Work over the next few years is being planned which will see it fully completed and ready for small boats, including bringing the lock into operation.  The canal is now inhabited by Great Crested Newts and the reed beds support rare birds, all protected species, and so the first stage is to devise a plan to provide them with safe havens and then gain a licence from Natural England to relocate the newts.  We are currently (Spring 2015) still seeking planning consent and dealing with water resource problems. Only when we have planning consent can we get the licence to move the newts.

This restoration project will be the next major project for volunteer works in the Swindon area. Over a two year period we will clean out the canal, repair the leaks and restore the lock to working condition. We will be doing the work with volunteers and particularly need more people to help with the environmental improvement tasks.

 When we are able to start work we will need people to help monitor the newt fencing, trap and translocate the newts, plant the new ponds and reed beds and maintain them until well-established with conditions suited to newts and birds as well as doing all the canal repairs.

 
If you would like to help with these tasks, or can suggest people or organisations that can help, or want more information on the project please contact the project manager Rod Hacker at  Rodney Hacker  or 01793 347715."

 

 

IMG 0049
 
 
The next major project in the Swindon Area will be completion of the restoration of the canal
by
Mouldon Hill Country Park. Over a two year period we will clean out the canal, repair the
leaks and restore the lock to working condition. We will be doing the work with volunteers
and particularly need more people to help with the environmental improvement tasks.
 
 
 
 
 
great crested_newts_3
 
 
We have completed the environmental surveys.  Before we start restoration we have to trap
and relocate the great crested newts (a European protected species) to new ponds nearby.
We plan to start work early in 2014 but first we have to get a licence from Natural England in
which we will name the leaders for the relocation and the maintenance of the new ponds.
 
 
 
IMG 0046
 
We need people to help monitor the newt fencing, trap and translocate the newts,
plant the new ponds and maintain them until well-established with conditions
suited to newts for breeding.
 
If you would like to help with these tasks, or can suggest people or organisations
that can help, or want more information on the project please contact the
project manager Rod Hacker at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or 01793 347715.

 

Last Updated on Saturday, 25 April 2015 14:25
 
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