The Melksham, Calne and Chippenham Branch
of the
 Wilts & Berks Canal Trust


Press Releases  Back
March 2015


Last weekend, the Tuesday section of 10th Chippenham Scout Group, and Wilts & Berks Canal Trust volunteers, dug out their spades, donned boots and gloves, and joined forces as part of a project along the canal. The scouts, with help from the canal volunteers, were improving the habitat at the edge of the towpath, at a site near the A4 between Chippenham and Calne. The project was to plant native species of trees and shrubs, donated by the Woodland Trust.

Scout Leader Judith Brown said: “The scouts have taken on this challenge as part of the Environmental Partnership Award. For the award, the scouts have to take responsibility for the whole process. They have had to identify a partner – in this case the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust – and a project or activity that relates to the environment. Together they have had to set objectives and plan the project. Now the scouts have to take part, successfully complete the tree planting, and finally, assess the benefits to those involved.

“We are delighted to be working with the volunteers of the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust again, especially as both groups are working in the community to try and improve the environment for local people.”
The site, at both sides of the A4 near the Hyundai garage, was once the location of Derry Hill Bridge, where the canal passed beneath the Chippenham to Calne Turnpike Road. There was also a coal wharf at this location.

Dave Maloney, WBCT project leader, said: “Thanks to the generosity of Lord Lansdowne, a lease for the land has been agreed here, and so we have been able to work on this section of the canal. Volunteers have been very busy clearing 100 years of accumulated brambles and undergrowth on either side of the A4, and local people have appreciated seeing this part of the canal gradually reappear as they drive along the road.

“We are thrilled to be working with 10th Chippenham Scout Group again. The scouts were brilliant at our Heritage Open Day last June, when they acted as marshalls and organised the car parking. They did a wonderful job for us, now we are pleased that we can reciprocate and help them to achieve this important Environmental Award.

“The Wilts & Berks Canal Trust is very keen to work with community groups; we have an increasing amount of activity taking place along the length of the canal, and a growing level of support from the local community.
It’s so important to get the younger generation involved in environmental projects; it is the quality of their future that will be affected by projects such as these.”

Anyone interesting in finding out more about the canal trust, or in volunteering, please visit the website

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