Volunteers Join Forces For Canal Lock Restoration
Twenty volunteers from across the UK have joined members of Derby and Sandiacre Canal Trust to complete the restoration of a key part of the former Derby Canal.
The Trust raised over £4,000 through a Crowdfunder appeal, match funding from Derby City Council and support from Community Action Derby for the restoration project.
The money raised has paid for the heavy lifting equipment and materials needed for the work planned for volunteers from the national Waterway Recovery Group (WRG) and local people including members of Cromford Canal Trust who have also joined the working parties.
They spent the week restoring the lock chamber including replacing the original coping stones – some of which weigh several tons- along the edge of the lock using a specialist spider crane.
This will allow lock gates to be fitted when water is brought back to the canal. In due course this section will be connected to the Draycott section of canal which is due to be completed next Spring.
Derby & Sandiacre Canal Trust Chair Chris Madge said: “We are so grateful to everyone who supported us to raise the money so that this project can go ahead.
“The work at Borrowash Lock is a true testament to what can be achieved by the power of volunteering and is a crucial stage to making this part of the former Derby Canal more accessible for the community to enjoy.
“They, and the Crowdfunder supporters. all share the passion for the benefits that canals and waterways bring to the local economy and community well-being.”
Mr Madge continued the Borrowash Lock was an important step in their overall aim to restore a 13 mile stretch of the former Derby Canal between the city, Swarkestone and Sandiacre.
This stretch would then connect to the Trent and Mersey and Erewash Canals - creating a 25 mile cruising ring with access to more than 2,000 miles of navigable waterways across the UK.
As well as restoring the canal, the ambitious programme includes creating an ‘arm’ lift to take boats down from the canal to the river level in Pride Park so that they can then travel up the Derwent to the Silk Mill in the city centre.
Mr Madge concluded: “We continue to have a full work programme scheduled and would very much welcome additional volunteers to help us on a wide range of environmental and construction projects across Derby and Erewash.”
For more information about volunteering and supporting the Trust, please visit www.derbycanal.org.uk