volunteers refused to be deterred by last year’s wet weather, donating
thousands of hours to bring a waterway back to life.
Members of the Melksham, Chippenham & Calne branch of the Wilts
& Berks Canal Trust worked on almost 130 days during 2012/13.
The total contribution amounted to more than 6,000 hours of free labour
with an estimated value of more than £70,000 when applying for matched
The figure is slightly lower than the year before, but the charity is
delighted that so much progress was made in the face of the washout
Summer and cold Spring.
Workparty organiser Doug Harris, pictured, said: “The last year
was difficult due to the continuous wet weather which slowed our
progress, but we were delighted to see so many people still attending
“Much of our effort continues to take place on the stretch between
Melksham and Chippenham where significant lengths have already been
dredged and refilled with water.
“The wharf below Pewsham Locks has been restored and the adjacent towpath has been widened to improve access for dumper trucks.
“Further south we’ve restored the public footpath that will pass over
Double Bridge, erected a new stile and gateway, and made repairs to one
of the culverts.
“Elsewhere the volunteers cleared hundreds of metres of the former
towpath on either side of the A4 so that engineers could begin
“Teams also maintained the stretch leading into Calne at Chaveywell Bridge so that tripboats could support community events.
“Recruitment remained steady with several new volunteers joining throughout the year, of all ages and backgrounds.
“It’s a great way to enjoy some fresh air and exercise while helping to restore a lasting legacy for future generations.”
For more information about the local Branch of the Trust you can visit their Web site www.melkshamwaterway.org.uk