Saturday, 21 March 2009

Spring 2009.

0 Locks, 7 Miles, 2 Tunnels. Now moored near bridge 59.

Gypsy Rover at the end of the Ashby Canal Navigation at Snarestone

It has been a glorious day for the first official day of Spring. Another good day for cruising which saw us travel up to the end of the navigation. Here we found contractors busy building a road alongside the canal opposite the facilities block back to bridge 61. Over 800 ton’s of hard fill are having to be put in to support the weight of heavy machinery and trucks (lorries).

Snarestone Tunnel runs under the village of the same name.

When we spoke to the gentleman who is moored at the terminus and looks after the Ashby Canal Societies fund raising shop he told us that the canal society has had to pay out nearly £1million to build the road for contractors to come in and dig a pond alongside the canal for wildlife.

Southern portal of the Snarestone Tunnel, Ashby Canal.

Apparently English Nature had opposed any further development of the canal unless 3 ponds were dug for the swans and ducks to live in peace away from the boats. What a load of bollocks, in over 2 years on the cut we have seen swans nesting quite happily alongside the canal’s up and down the country and both they and the ducks head to the boats with their young in the hope of being fed. Sounds to me that English Nature are just trying to justify their existence as they are a government kwango.

How ever the news was not all bad as work is due to start next month on piling and putting in the stop plank’s extending the canal by 50 metre’s in readiness for further digging to begin. They hope to reach Measham and have it in use by 2010. Only 2 and a bit miles but a step in the right direction. We did our bit in buying some souvenirs and donating some books and magazines to the canal societies effort.

After watering up we winded and returned back through the Snarestone tunnel (all 250 yards of it) and moored in a peaceful spot well away from the road over the tunnel.

First day of Spring on the Ashby Canal. What a lovely view?

1588 locks, 3363 miles, 59 Tunnels, 44 swing bridges and 39 lift bridges since Nov 2006

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