The Cotswold Canals project is a combination of two waterways – the 29 mile (46 km) Thames & Severn Canal and the 7 mile (13 km) Stroudwater Navigation. Both were officially abandoned by Act of Parliament, respectively in 1933 and 1954. When restored, the Cotswold Canals will form a continuous waterway from Saul Junction on the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal to the River Thames at Lechlade.
This map shows how the waterways in Wiltshire will look and where they will link in with existing waterways outside the County once full restoration of the Cotswold Canals and the Wilts & Berks Canal has been completed.
The route of the Cotswold Canals runs through some stunning scenery including the rolling Cotswold countryside, passing the source of the Thames and the woollen mills of the Stroud Valley. There are many impressive structures along the length of the Canals, including the 2¼ mile (4 km) Sapperton Tunnel.
Restoration has started on many parts of the waterway, with several miles having been returned to water and many structures, such as bridges and locks, restored by the dedication and enthusiasm of volunteers from the Canal Trust. The main focus in 2010/11 is the restoration of the western end of the canal near Stroud which is being carried out by a Partnership led by Stroud District Council with a Heritage Lottery grant in excess of £11m, together with other funding.
The Thames & Severn Canal in Wiltshire
Being a key member of the Cotswold Canals Partnership, Wiltshire Council assists with the restoration of this canal through the giving of financial contributions and technical assistance. About 4½ km of the canal is located in the county to the north of Cricklade where it will link with the Wilts & Berks Canal when that is also restored.
Restored sections of the canal already provide leisure opportunities, such as way-marked walking routes and trip boats, although not all parts of the route are currently accessible by the public.
If you would like to get involved with this project please contact The Cotswold Canals Trust
For more information check out the links below:
Last updated: 17 February 2011