Projects where you can help restore the Wilts & Berks Canal

Access to Work Sites:

The aim of the Trust is to allow public access to the restored canal. At present much of the canal is still privately owned and although the Trust will have an agreement to work on the sites shown here, if you are visiting one of these sites you must use a route that has a public right of way.

The Wilts & Berks Canal Trust does not encourage or condone trespass onto privately owned land.

Listed below are the sites where you will be able to volunteer to help with the re-construction.

Further information about all the Trust Work Parties and other restoration projects can be obtained from Work Parties Director Rachael Banyard (Tel. 01249 892289) or the Trust Office (Tel 0845 226 8567)

Restoration at Foxham

With the support of the local landowners a section of the canal from Foxham Top Lock eastwards has been restored including the restoration of lift bridges.

 Foxham Bridge



Last Updated on Monday, 04 May 2009 19:31
Latton Basin Hertiage Project

Preservation of Latton Basin and Lock

There's been good progress on restoration thanks to the efforts of working parties from WRG and WBCT branches as well as corporate working parties from Intel, RWE Npower and Arval. The corporate teams seem to get a lot out of their days on the project and both Arval and Intel have made regular visits and worked on their own sections of the project.

The canal bed and towpath are now clear between the Mill Leat and the River Churn. The top entrance to the lock has been excavated and we have removed some spectacular tree stumps. This has left us clear to start work repairing one side of the Basin wall and this will continue through the summer.

Latton basin was designed with flood relief in mind, and it's interesting that canal restoration is playing an increasing part in modern flood relief. The basin has a flood relief aqueduct which seems to be in good condition and is still working: the four arches of the aqueduct pass flood water from one side of the embankment to the other. Photographs from the 1920's show levels of flooding that are similar to the disruptive floods we've had recent years. As this project progresses it is revealing more and more about the original construction and there is yet more to discover. The mystery of the bottom gate paddle gear has still not been solved and will probably not be until the lock is totally cleared.

The restoration is uncovering some fascinating industrial archaeology and will remain a lasting source of information and inspiration for future generations. The late Alfred and Ann Howse were the last keepers at the Basin and their family has been very generous in working with the team to pass on a vast amount of detailed information that has helped deepen our understanding of their work. The basin will not be used as part of the restored Wilts Berks Canal, instead, the plans are in place to create a new junction with the Thames & Severn Canal at Eisey.

Work on the Basin continues in co-operation with colleagues in the Cotswold Canal Trust who are doing a wonderful job in improving the area of their canal around the junction and investigating the Junction and Weymoor bridges. The Basin is roughly in the middle of the walk from Cerny Wick to Cricklade and is also part of the circular walk which includes the River Thames.

Visitors are always welcome,


Last Updated on Thursday, 07 July 2011 10:58
West Vale Branch's First Project - Restoration of the Canal Section from Stainswick Lane to Station Road Shrivenham (1991-96)

sl2sr_01This length of canal, of approximately 650 metres, is the closest section to Shrivenham village, lying 750 metres south of the High Street. It was considered to be a good place to start for not only would it raise the profile of the fledgling Branch locally but would also provide a most useful footpath between these two roads. The channel was largely visible although much infilled with silt, undergrowth and giant, coppiced willow trees, many limbs of which had collapsed. The towpath was impassable as the adjacent hedge and brambles had encroached.


Looking westwards from Stainswick Lane before dredging

Last Updated on Sunday, 10 November 2013 07:22
Restoration of the Canal Section from Shrivenham Arch Bridge to Bourton Wharf (1992-94)

sr2bw 01Having made a good start on our first major project, the dredging of the section between Stainswick Lane and Station Road, the Branch was keen to progress the adjacent canal section.

This length is approximately 1100 metres; from the Arch Bridge on Station Road to where the canal line is lost under Townsend Road (the road from the A420 into Shrivenham) near to the site of Bourton Wharf - the roads in this area being altered in the 1980s for the Shrivenham / Watchfield bypass.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 January 2014 15:29
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