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Volunteers from a range of companies have been helping to restore the Lichfield Canal.
Staff from BT, Amey, E.ON and Jaguar Land Rover have been working to create a channel leading up to the M6Toll aqueduct.
The canal was abandoned in the 1950s, but volunteers have been working hard to pave the way for the route to be reinstated with the creation of the Heritage Towpath Trail.
The work to link to the aqueduct has been made possible by the purchase of land known as Summerhills via a social investment business community award less than two years ago.
Peter said: “Before we got this piece of land we never had access to the aqueduct. Now we’ve restored the canal culvert at Cranebrook incorporating an access road so we can actually get cranes and construction equipment up to the M6Toll aqueduct so that we can build the guillotine lock, which will be one of the deepest, if not the deepest, in the country.
“The intention is to move our cabins early next year onto a hard-standing area by the aqueduct and that will be the construction area for the new lock and pumping station.”
Peter was also keen to pay tribute to the volunteers who have given up their time.
“We’ve had fabulous cooperation from the visiting corporate groups and it’s cascading in,” he said. “Many of the corporate volunteers come from different departments from the same organisation, but they’re all saying ‘can we come?’
“We had 40 volunteers on one day and the smallest group was three but they all did a fabulous job.”
While the corporate groups have been coming and going, the Trust’s own Green Team have been steadily laying the unkempt hawthorn hedge and interplanting native saplings along the kilometer-long Summerhills section.
Meanwhile, the work of the Trust’s regular volunteers on the Tamworth Road site mean that the day when water flows again is coming closer.
For more details about volunteering with the Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust visit the organisation’s website.
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