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Lichfield’s canal restoration trust is looking for more volunteers after making huge progress in the last year.
A volunteer working on the canal restoration project
While work on Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust’s Tamworth Road site has been temporarily suspended, the work party has moved to Darnford Moors where shuttering put in place to line the canal banks when the lift bridge was installed had to be replaced. The volunteers have also dug out the canal bed next to the golf club and constructed a large hard-standing area to accommodate a huge crane to lift and store eleven sections of concrete culvert which will be used to allow the canal to go under Darnford Lane. At Summerhill volunteers have completed the gabion wall designed to protect the wall of the Boat Inn. Having done this it was discovered that the pub wall is in worse condition than foreseen and will have to be underpinned, before drains and a water pipe can be installed. The retaining walls of a new lock next to the Boat have been completed and work will go on to install a hollow column of blocks designed to take water from the upper pound into the lock when the sluices are open. Meanwhile the repair of the Sand Wharf goes on, and at the M6 Toll Road end a corporate group has extended the towpath past the culvert which will eventually lead to a path over the aqueduct. At Fosseway Heath, where a nature reserve and wetlands are being created thanks to an £18,500 award from the Postcode Lottery, a grant-giving body funded by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, work has continued through the holiday period to build abutments which will take the boardwalks for the wetlands and to begin restoration of the original canal wall. This is a huge project which will see three paths through the area and recreation of lowland heathland and eventually a modified canal channel with moorings and turning space. All this is done by unpaid volunteers, and while work party volunteers are the visible face of the efforts, there are many vacancies for roles in all aspects of the work. The Trust is especially keen to hear from civil engineers to help with project engineering and developments. Other areas where people with particular skills would be welcome are in plant operation and maintenance, grounds maintenance, land acquisition and planning, events planning and management, public relations and marketing, fundraising and administration. For more details, visit the trust website.

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