Lancaster Canal - Northern Reaches
The Lancaster Canal Trust’s primary objective is to campaign for the restoration of the canal from Tewitfield to Kendal. The trust has been working on restoring the First Furlong (200m) between Bridge Nos 172 and 173 at Stainton, Cumbria. This length has been dug out and lined with geotextile and an EDPM impermeable membrane, with blocks laid on top to hold the lining down and protect it. Above the blocks, the profile has been filled with soil and now supports plant growth. The final length of lining and filling the profile above the lining with soil has been completed. There is already a wide selection of plant species appearing along both banks.
CRT has approved LCT’s application to link into the watered Millness section and the trust is waiting for the agreement to be signed. The new stop planks have been installed and approved by CRT. Stillage testing, to check for any water loss, should have been finished by spring 2022. Unfortunately, when the water level was raised in early 2022, the trust could not maintain the minimum water level required by CRT. The water level then had to be lowered to do other work. Since then, it could not be raised due to drought conditions. It is now being raised and work can start on finding the leak.
Subject to this being approved, the final task to complete the new 1-furlong (200m) link will be to remove the bund under Bridge No 172. This is a major job involving the use of a temporary dam and sensitive excavation, and will cost in the region of £15,000. The trust is starting to plan the long process to restore the next 400m. It is also planning a strategy to maximise the opportunities to secure the funding likely to be required to make the restoration of the Northern Reaches to Kendal a reality.
At Hincaster Tunnel, LCT has an adoption agreement with CRT and is improving the site of the Scheduled Ancient Monument by exposing the canal bed and stone walls, building another wall, cutting shrubs, improving public access and tidying up the viewing areas with a regular programme of strimming. Stainton has been approved as an IWA Silver Propeller Challenge point. The trust is a member of the Lancaster Canal Regeneration Partnership which has arranged funding to upgrade the towpath between Hincaster and Stainton to a multiuse route. It is already a public right of way. The horsepath over the tunnel has not been improved as it is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.