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Ashby Canal

Ashby Canal

Early in 2023, the Ashby Canal Association will take over the Transport & Works Act Order from Leicestershire County Council and the project to restore the Ashby Canal through to Measham. En route to Measham, the restored canal will cross the Gilwiskaw Brook, a Natural England Special Area of Conservation on a high-level aqueduct. An ongoing buy-a-brick campaign has, to date, raised £68,000 towards this feature. In November 2020 a breach occurred in the section from Snarestone Wharf to Bridge No 62 which was restored by LCC. Remedial work has taken place and ACA has now installed a stop gate at Snarestone Wharf, which is the interface with CRT waters.

A length of the original canal north of the present terminus near Bridge No 62, where no mining subsidence has taken place, will be dug out to the original profile. The excavated material staying on site will be moved forward to where subsidence has occurred. ACA volunteers have already carried out extensive ground clearance in preparation for this work.

Local contractors have volunteered to deliver a quantity of clay and topsoil removed in the course of work on other unconnected sites and are paying the association for agreeing to receive it.

Over recent months, as weather and Covid restrictions permitted, ACA volunteers have been working on the completion of a footpath following the route that the restored canal will take through to Measham. This has been part-funded by an IWA grant and is already proving very popular with local people, and it enables visiting boaters to walk to Measham without venturing onto local highways.

There is planning permission for a housing estate in Measham, which will include restoration of 1.1km of Ashby Canal as an integral part of the scheme. The development is, however, still under threat since the Integrated Rail Plan, announced in December 2021, declared the postponement of most of the HS2b route but not the section through Measham. An engineering study recommending a minor route diversion will, if accepted, enable the development to go ahead and provide £3m-worth of canal for the village of Measham.

March 2023


Ashby NWLDC chairman Virge Richichi & leader Richard Blunt presenting a cheque to Peter Oakden (Ashby Canal Association).
Ashby Waterside first dig June 2021.