£50,000 for canal restoration

The Waterways Trust, on behalf of the Cotswold Canals Partnership, has secured £50,000 for the restoration of a historic bridge at Oil Mills in Stroud.

The funding from Gloucestershire Environmental Trust (GET), using Landfill tax credits donated by Cory Environmental, will help regenerate this site which includes sympathetic restoration of a historic bridge.

The majority of the bridge’s abutments and wingwalls below road level remain intact and with this funding, the Cotswold Canals Partnership will be able to incorporate as much of the remains of the original bridge as possible into the new structure.

The project will also involve upgrading the towpath which is currently uneven and overgrown and quickly becomes impassable in muddy wet weather. There are no clear access points so walkers must negotiate gates and steep inclines. Thanks to the funding from GET, the Partnership will be able to create a new multi-user towpath, with resting points, enabling access to the canal for all.

As well as improving access, there will be new signage and the towpath will form part of a trail between Ryeford and Wallbridge, which will tell the story of the canals and the surrounding area.

The Oil Mills bridge restoration project is part of the overall canal reconstruction programme which in the Oil Mills area alone will provide 650 metres of open water and involves 315 metres of the channel being dredged and re-watered and 335 metres being created by the removal of a waste infill. Fish and otters in particular will benefit from the changes as the work will link habitats from Ryeford to Ebley.

The Waterways Trust is raising funds for the restoration programme on behalf of the Cotswold Canals Partnership.