The Ashby Canal is still a restoration project. In the 1940’s the northern 8 miles were closed and filled in because of subsidence from the Leicestershire coal field.
The Ashby Canal Association Is actively working towards reopening this section to complete the navigation at Moira. As always progress is dependant upon funds, but the society is currently on a roll with a new bridge, section and winding hole completed last year and the next stage, the Gilwiskaw Brook Aquaduct due to be started in the spring.
I still prefer the look of the old bridges though.
We walked as far as we could along the prepared route. It’ll be interesting to take this photo again in a few years.
Of couse in the years between the closure and now, there has been housing development over the original route so completing the canal will be partly ‘new’ canal rather than restoration but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The Ashby is recognised as a SSSI ( no, not an embarrassing disease, a Site of Special Scientific Interest) because of the wildlife and plant habit, water voles and native crayfish, to name two.
We saw a camera shy vole, and several kingfishers.
The new canal has naturalised very quickly though it lacks the avenues of trees that are a highlight at this time of year. It’s a lovely canal. I’m sure we will include it on our travels in the future.