Restoring a canal – and looking after the environment


That’s a lot of saplings. Image courtesy of Paul Marshall/L&HCRT.

I’ve had a terrific response to featuring the post last week by Christine Howles of Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust here on the blog, which sought to put right my previous dearth of coverage on this great local canal restoration project.

At the moment, the volunteers are currently beavering away on the route of the lost line between Barracks Lane, Ogley Hay and The Boat restaurant, on the Lichfield Road at Summerhill, opening the route for walkers.

The Trust have already put in years of work restoring the lost line and its features like Borrowcop Locks, and it has been no small undertaking. In this post written specially for the Brownhills Blog by Christine, she discusses dealing with the environmental impact and conservation measures being employed to look after the route as it is restored.

I’m looking forward to featuring more articles from Christine and the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust in the future, and I look forward to walking the reopened route soon – I bet there will be some cracking views from there.

In the meantime, I commend you to read the following great post, and consider if you can helping the L&HCRT in their huge project to restore a lost piece of local history.


Broowcop Locks on the A51 at Lichfield are a peaceful oasis. Image courtesy of Paul Marshall/L&HCRT.

What do you do when you’re clearing the route of an old canal? It’s overgrown with flora which has become a haven for wildlife but it can’t stay there. You make sure that you replace more plants than you dig up. That’s what the Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust are doing. 

Over the last couple of months the Trust has cleared a kilometre of overgrown derelict canal land over by the well-known M6 Toll aqueduct, but over 800 trees have been planted in new hedgerows by the Trust’s “Green Team”, which far outnumbers the number of trees removed.

The species being planted are a mix of Hawthorn and Hazel which were recommended by environmental advisers and will have a direct impact on improving the biodiversity of the area. 

Over at the Borrowcop Locks Canal Park by Tamworth Road in Lichfield, you can already see the results of previous work by the Green Team. Back in 2006, Trust members and volunteers planted bulbs along the towpath-side banks at the back of Lock 26. If you visit today, you can see the results of their labours with a lovely display of Snowdrops and the Daffodils just starting to show themselves. As they die down, there will be miniature woodland Tulips, with Aconites and Primulas to replace the view.

It’s wonderful to think that the Trust are not only bringing back the canal but also improving the environment as they go.

They are always in need of ne volunteers to help with the planting, usually on a Sunday, if you can help get in touch with the Trust on Twitter @LHCRT1, on Facebook or on their website.

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2 Responses to Restoring a canal – and looking after the environment

  1. Clive says:

    LHCRT are doing a great job on rebuilding of the canal, I`m a member and hope to pop down and help out soon.

  2. Pingback: The First Cut and a musical history… | BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

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