Saturday, 24 October 2009

Droitwich Barge Canal

We set off on Tuesday for a couple of days away, with our first target being the point where the Droitwich Barge Canal meets the River Severn. Having checked on Google Maps, we knew we were looking for Lock Lane off the A449 in Worcestershire. Fortunately Lock Lane has a huge sign and we parked on the verge of this dead-end lane. It took a few moments to find how to get down to the canal, as the nearby house is being rennovated and the footpath is still technically closed, with a fence across it. The entrance from the river was completed in August; the lock into the canal certainly looks ready for use.

The pound above the lock appears to need little more than some water.

Just around the corner there's another lock with a bridge to take the towpath to the other side.
Then a little further on is the major engineering feat which has just been completed: taking the canal under the A449. It's clearly been a big job, with large embankments and a reasonably long tunnel. The towpath inside the tunnel appears to be suspended over the water.

Beyond the tunnel, the canal peters out very rapidly, with plenty of dredging needed before boats can use it. However, the Droitwich Canals Trust says this will happen this winter, and the whole of the Barge Canal should be open for use next spring. When we eventually use this canal, it will mean even more because we've seen it before the work was complete.

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