Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal
In 2020 the Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal Trust, like all other waterway restoration societies, found work stopped or delayed due to Covid-19 restrictions. All promotional events also ceased, making it difficult for members to stay in face-to-face contact. Fortunately the AGM was held via Zoom. Due to lockdown and social distancing, there was a significant uptake in sales of the trust’s walk leaflets and consequent use of towpath walking on its restored sites. It was encouraging to see the sites being used for enjoyment and providing health benefits.
The trust’s on-site work managed to continue in a number of areas. At the Over site it was looking at the development of Mill Barn to support team activities. At Malswick the lengthy task of meeting all requirements for applying for planning permission was completed. Once permission is received, hopefully in the spring of 2021, it will lead to the restoration of over 600m of canal; once completed, this will enable enjoyment of a 1.2km circular walk with picnic and wildlife areas.
Work is ongoing with the very long-term project of carrying the canal over the road at Newent – a double-inclined plane – taking boats through the old station on tracks rather than on water. HGCT has started extending further lengths of canal restoration in Herefordshire.
During the slight lifting of restrictions in the summer, our chair was offered a trip in a light airplane along the route of the canal, during which some aerial pictures were captured.
HGCT continues to focus on rebuilding a sustainable canal from Hereford to Gloucester, with the emphasis on ensuring there is a built-in income to keep the canal maintained once it is restored.