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Lichfield canal restoration project gets a boost

This Summer, while most of us were relaxing and taking things easy, over 30 volunteers attended the canal restoration project at Fosseway Heath in Lichfield.

Throughout July, volunteers from the Waterway Recovery Group (WRG) helped restore the historic Lichfield canal. The canal runs for 7 miles from Ogley Junction on the Birmingham Canal Navigations to Huddlesford Junction. This 225 year-old canal is partially restored, and relies on funding and support from the council, local canal trusts and restoration groups.

WRG Volunteers, from around the UK and France, were working on the derelict site at Fosseway Heath with support from Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Trust. They were involved in excavating the canal channel and repointing and restoring the old, existing towpath wall, using the original bricks.

Some volunteers were very skilled and have completed Canal Camps before, but many are first time volunteers who were keen to give their time to canal restoration and to learn new skills and meet new people.

Nigel Lee, (WRG Volunteer), who joined the camp, commented that “it was a great week and I was delighted to have worked with an enthusiastic group of volunteers both new and experienced.”

Alex Melson who led the Waterway Recovery Group Canal Camp, said, “Huge progress in completing the overall project was made. Lichfield canal is great historical gem of a canal and our team are committed to helping restore it back to its former glory. It was great to work on the original towpath wall, built back in the 1700s, and we are re-using the original bricks to help conserve the heritage of the canal itself. We believe passionately in restoring our waterways around the UK, not only as a record of our past but as a resource for our future.”

If you’re interested coming down to see our work, we will be returning for one more week between 3rd to the 10th August to continue supporting the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Trust and the amazing work they do.

To find out more about Waterway Recovery Group, please visit: www.wrg.org.uk to view a list of camps and dates.

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