Narrow boats set for return to Cromford Canal as £300k dredging project gets underway
A STRETCH of Cromford Canal is being cleaned-up in a Derbyshire County Council-funded project to get a historic narrow boat cruising along the waterway again.
Work to dredge a 1.3 mile section of the canal from Cromford Wharf to Leawood Pumphouse will start next Monday.
Material such as decomposing plants and soil particles which get washed into the canal will be removed to make the water deeper, allowing a boat to use it for the first time since the 1980s.
Deputy leader for Derbyshire County Council, Councillor Simon Spencer, said: “This work to Cromford Canal will bring great benefits to the area.
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“It is not only essential for the environment by helping wildlife but will also help to boost tourism in the area which is good for the local economy.”
The county council owns the five miles of Cromford Canal, which is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest, from Cromford Wharf to Ambergate and parts of it also fall within the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.
Ebsford Environmental of Leeds has been appointed to carry out the work which will cost £300,000 and will be using cutter suction dredging machines to draw silt out of the canal.
Silt which has been collected will then be dried in bags for two to four weeks before being spread across a field.
It is expected to be completed in June and The Friends of Cromford Canal plan to start running boat trips along this section.
There are also plans to cut back trees along the canal to reduce the level of shading on the canal which is harmful to the wildlife and vegetation.
Patrick Morriss, Chairman of The Friends of Cromford Canal said: “The Friends of Cromford Canal are pleased to see this section of canal being dredged and introduce a new generation to the delights of water transport on the longest length of canal in a World Heritage Site in England.”