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Grantham Canal – Maintenance Day (Part 1)

A brief history…

The Grantham Canal was opened in 1797 to transport Nottinghamshire coal to Grantham, from the Trent, avoiding costly road haulage. It ran successfully until the 1830s when growing competition from the railways lead to the eventual demise of the canal with a Closure Act being passed in 1936.

The canals ownership changed hands several times over the following years and it’s decline continued until The Grantham Canal Restoration Society was formed in 1969 and began the long road to full restoration.

The Canal is 33 miles long with 18 locks along its length. 6 have currently been restored and when ongoing work at Stenworth Lock is complete this will bring the total to 7 with only Woolsthorpe Bottom Lock 12 to be restored in the Woolsthorpe flight of 8 Locks. The canal is fully navigable from Lock 14 up to the A1 and as further locks are restored the length of the navigable section will increase.

Not only is the canal of important historical value but there is a real environmental case for restoration. Although already a rich habitat for wildlife, restoration will improve this even further. Restoring flowing water will eliminate stagnant, deoxygenated water and increase the presence of fish, waterfowl and aquatic animals. The ultimate goal of reopening the canal as a whole will create an important wildlife corridor between Nottingham and Grantham.

How are Greenfields Countryside Limited getting involved?

Greenfields Countryside Limited are based in Cropwell Bishop, through which a section of the Grantham Canal runs. A local contact suggested that our professional services may be of use to the Grantham Canal Society’s work, clearing the remaining dry sections of canal, and we were happy to help. There is still currently one dry section of canal between Lock 8, Joshua’s Lock and Wilde’s Bridge and it is part of this section that the Greenfields team will be helping clear on Friday 2nd February.

It is really important for the Greenfields team to work closely with the Grantham Canal Society in preparation for the work to be carried out. This is because it is vital to be conscious of bio diversity and wildlife along the canal, making sure that works aren’t affecting the balance of natural habitats. Considerations include carrying out inspections for bat roosting’s in trees, using vegetable oil on chainsaws (instead of normal machine oil) and taping off an area that is home to a badgers sett.

We are really excited to be partnering with the Grantham Canal Society, and their vision of restoring the canal closely aligns with our continuing commitment to providing benefit to the local community and environment. Keep an eye on our website for updates on how the day went and the benefits of volunteering.

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