Benefits of reopening Montgomery Canal on agenda at annual forum
Plans for the future and the benefits a revived canal can offer Powys and Shropshire will be discussed at the annual Montgomery Canal Forum later this month.
The forum, which is open to the public, will be hosted at the Aico Centre of Excellence, Maesbury Road, Oswestry on Wednesday, June 21, at 2.30pm.
Presentations will highlight recent events, which include a new section of canal opened to Crickheath, Montgomery Canal Triathlon, the ongoing reconstruction of Schoolhouse Bridge, last bridge blockage in Shropshire and initial works in Powys of a multi-million pound restoration programme supported by the UK Government Levelling-Up Fund.
Michael Limbrey, Montgomery Waterway Restoration Trust chairman, said: “Our ambition is to extend the canal through the final two miles in Shropshire and then through to Welshpool and beyond.
“Experience across the country shows that canals bring social, environmental and economic benefits to their area. These benefits are integral to the strategy for the Montgomery Canal.
“A safe space for recreation and well-being will provide opportunities for visitors and residents which will benefit the local economy.”
He continued: “The substantial investment in canalside nature reserves near Queen’s Head will be matched in Powys to safeguard rare and protected wildlife. Maintenance will ensure water continues to flow and the canal is not blocked with aggressive plants.
“Rebuilt bridges on both sides of the border will make it easier for walkers and others at crossings which have blocked the canal for many years.
“In Shropshire, the volunteer work parties which rebuilt the canal channel to Crickheath – finishing on budget and on time – have started work on the next section.
“The support they received from the National Lottery Heritage Fund has now finished and the Restore the Montgomery Canal! appeal is raising money to pay for materials and plant hire.
“Donations for the Schoolhouse Bridge project show how much people right across the country value what’s special about the Montgomery Canal and we hope that that support will continue for the next stage.”
The forum is organised by Montgomery Waterway Restoration Trust, formed in 1980 to bring together the public and voluntary organisations interested in the future of the Montgomery Canal.
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