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Works on Unnavigable Canal Route Restores Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Montgomery Canal Dredging

10 weeks

As part of the CRT Framework contract, Ebsford commenced with dredging works on a unnavigable section of the Montgomery Canal.

Known for its outstanding natural beauty, wildlife and heritage, the Montgomery Canal runs for 35 miles between England and Wales and is currently only partly navigable. This dredging project was a part of a much larger HLF-funded £ 4 million project which involves restoring to navigation 1¼ miles of the canal.

The works carried out by Ebsford involved reducing overhanging vegetation and the deepening the channel through desilting to allow free flowing water to enhance the water space for the ecology, environment and users of these SSSI sites. Using a variety of floating and conventional plant and machinery, silt was sensitively removed. The silt was de-watered in bespoke receptors made from locally sourced natural materials built on neighbouring farmland.

During March 2018 over 1¼ miles of the un-navigable waterway benefited from a major excavation of the overgrown channel, removal of dead and fallen trees, trimming of overgrown trees and vegetation, and extensive bank repairs.

Funded by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, the work was carried out in two sections between just south of Berriew and in Arddleen. Both are designated as a Site of Special Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI).

This work resulted in clearer, more oxygenated water, which in turn promotes the growth of healthy plants and animals.  Amongst the species that have benefited were the endangered water vole, as well as dragonflies and the rare aquatic plant Floating Water Plantain Luronium natans.

Mark Weatherall, project manager with the Canal & River Trust, said: “It is vitally important to keep the Montgomery Canal in good health. If the water channel becomes choked with weeds, the water quality quickly deteriorates and becomes stagnant.

By creating deeper, clearer fresh water channels, plants can flourish and create healthy habitats for fish, insects and small mammals. Biodiversity is greatly improved and the deeper channels actually inhibit the growth of weeds in the main channel resulting in better water flows throughout the canal.”


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