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Canal Trust Work Party gets digging

Chris Satori
Digger on pontoon
The Lancaster Canal Trust tell us that their winter programme of work maintaining and restoring the Lancaster Canal has been very wet and windy, but very interesting. Recent help in maintaining the far side of the canal, often badly neglected and not easy to manage, came from Northern Pontoon Hire, Carnforth. Lee Nicholls, the MD, not satisfied with loaning equipment, has been experimenting with putting a digger on pontoons to dredge the canal.

Testing the the stop planks for leaks
under Stainton Crossing bridge.In February the work party was aided by another local contractor who provided a mini-digger and dumptruck, complete with driver, and some road planings for a nominal cost. The machinery was used at Stainton Crossing Bridge to complete new embankment.  It was then applied to removing the mud from a long section of towpath and spreading the 20 tons of road planings evenly over the entire section. This will greatly improve the path for locals as well as other canal walkers providing a much less muddy route up to Sellet Hall bridge.

The Trust organises work parties every second Sunday of the month, which volunteers are welcome to join.
They have been extremely fortunate in finding an ex British Waterways man, Keith Tassart, to be  a  Work Party Organiser. Keith can be emailed at for more information on joining a work party.

The next working party will be on Sunday 13 April and will concentrate on tree/hedge planting around Hincaster tunnel.

The Trust also organises boat trips throughout the Summer on their narrowboat 'Waterwitch', crewed by Trust volunteers. From 20 April cruises leave approximately every 40 minutes from Crooklands every Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday and also Saturdays in August, from 11am - 4pm.  There is no booking - it's first come first served, weather permitting!  If you're making a special trip you can check if the boat is operating by calling:  07504 710 351

You can find out more about the work of the Lancaster Canal Trust at