Saturday 16 November 2013

North Walsham and Dilham Canal update November 2013

North Walsham and Dilham Canal
November 2013

I paid my annual pilgrimage to the North Walsahm and Dilham Canal, a private restoration which is coming on in leaps and bounds since being bought by the Old Canal Company.

So far the area upstream of Ebridge mill has been restored, its previously harsh new banks have now been softened by nature and the area is clearly a popular spot with walkers and naturalists. The water is clear and deep leading up to Bacton Wood Lock and the earlier leaks into the surrounding meadows appear to have been sealed so its all looking tickety boo.

The work has now moved upstream to Swafield Road Bridge. The channel has been cleared all the way to the sewage works outfall which provides most of the flow into the River Ant. I think the idea was to reach this source but before it can be diverted into the channel the banks need to be sealed so all the dredgings are being moved around and recycled.

I cant believe it will be long before these two pounds are in water and with the new lock operational nearly two miles will be navigable - a great site for a trip boat.
A winding hole is being created above Swafield Road Bridge but this crossing was lowered back in the 1970's to carry north sea gas lorries and a proper reconstruction will be needed - one of the few significant obstacles on this pretty rural route.

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