Saturday, 13 March 2010

Nottingham Canal, Trowell

Nottingham Canal, Trowell
March 2010

We joined the line of the Nottingham Canal at Trowell, not really knowing what to expect. We had managed to find a map on the Broxtowe Borough Council's website, but the quality of canalside paths can be very variable.

Nottinghan Canal east of A609 Trowell

We parked up at the Festival Pub, where we planned to return for a late lunch and Carling Cup football fest (Tilly left happy and I (Aston Villa fan) left disappointed.) We soon picked up the line as it ran under the A609 Nottingham Road, within earshot of the M1 which bustles away just to the east.

Nottingham Road Bridge, Trowell

The first glimpse isn't too inspiring, a reed clogged channel to the east and an infilled length to the west of the bridge, which has clearly been narrowed since abandonment in 1937. However it has had a culvert retained with a navigable airdraft to facilitate boats if they ever reach this point again.

The canal bed almost immediately narrows down, with gardens covering much of the line. The records tell us that this section was prone to leakage and when it was refilled in the 1980's, the residents complained of streams flowing through their gardens. This is a fail point I guess. Canal have their place, but that has to within a waterproof channel.

Nottingham Canal footpath, Trowell

This leakage problem was resolved by deliberate infilling in about 1989, but the council did so sympathetically by creating four ponds along the route. These are nearly full canal width and, with a bit of imagination, allows an observer to picture the whole canal in situ.

Feature pool on Nottingham Canal, infilled section

These ponds are fed by a piped culvert, but at the time of our visit groundwater had caused then to overfill, the sort of problem the residents found so irritating. It is great to see Broxtowe Council taking an active interest in this canal, which was allocated an annual budget of £18k in 1989, split between dams, overflows and pathways.

This is no Ridgeagre Canal Park (BCN)which ran out of steam and was left to the weeds. This route is clearly a much used treasure and sets a gold standard in terms of what a canal line can look like as a local amenity, if navigation is not a realistic aspiration.

Car park, about 1 mile east of Trowell on line of Nottingham Canal

This initial infilled section is about a mile long, ending at a conveniently sited car park.

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