Worcestershire waterways project nearing completion
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Worcestershire waterways project nearing completion

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The culmination of more than 35 years of campaigning to restore two Worcestershire waterways will come later this year with the opening of the Barge Canal between the River Severn and Droitwich. The Junction Canal is scheduled to follow in 2011.

The 7.5 mile (12.1km) canal restoration will see the Worcester & Birmingham Canal linked to the River Severn, creating a 22 mile (35km) cruising circuit to be known as the Mid Worcestershire Ring. British Waterways regeneration manager Jason Leach said: "Our intention has always been to link these wonderful waterways in a measured and sustainable way. While progress has been slowed by the economic downturn and there are one or two issues remaining to be resolved, the many partners and volunteers who have worked tirelessly over many decades to restore these canals, are excited at the prospect of the Barge Canal opening by the end of the year."

An integral feature of the restoration is a newly created linear park, which will provide access to the wider surrounding countryside, in addition to offering boat trips and picnic sites, a play area and new reedbed together with information and interpretation. Droitwich Barge Canal was built by James Brindley, opened in 1771 and served the Droitwich salt industry. Droitwich Junction Canal opened in 1854, linking the Worcester & Birmingham to the Barge Canal.

The Droitwich Canals' Restoration Partnership was established in 2000 between British Waterways, Droitwich Canals Trust, The Waterways Trust, Wychavon District Council and Worcestershire County Council in order to further the restoration project creating a linear canal park and establishing a 21 mile cruising ring. Funding for the project was secured from Advantage West Midlands, Heritage Lottery Fund, Wychavon District Council and Worcestershire County Council., with additional awards from Welcome to our Futures, Awards For All and the Dulverton Trust.

Image of Hanbury Locks, Droitwich Canal, copyright Geni

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The culmination of more than 35 years of campaigning to restore two Worcestershire waterways will come later this year with the opening of the Barge Canal between the River Severn and Droitwich. The Junction Canal is scheduled to follow in 2011.
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080610 - Droitwich Canal Hanbury Locks.jpg

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