Work has started on improvements to the Manchester Bolton and Bury Canal, west of Water Street in Radcliffe, following a delay caused by the possible presence of Great Crested Newts in the area.
The work was originally planned for earlier last year, but ecologists from the Canal & River Trust delayed the works as the mild winter could have meant that Great Crested Newts were active in the area earlier in the year than usual.
The Canal & River Trust, the new charity caring for canals and rivers in England and Wales, has begun the improvements to the canal at Radcliffe by removing some of the invasive glyceria maxima reed from the canal along with litter and debris. The next steps will be improvements to the towpath which will involve resurfacing 1.5km making it more user friendly.
The canal is classified as a ‘remainder waterway’ and the Trust does not have funding to maintain it beyond emergency safety works. However, in partnership with Bury Council, funding has been sought on a number of occasions over the years to keep the valued waterway in reasonable condition.
The current refurbishment will cost around £120,000, including contributions from Viridor Credits (£40,000), Windmill (Ellan Vallin) Ltd (via a s106 payment of £22,500) and Bury Council (£60,000).
Councillor Gill Campbell, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and regeneration, said: “We’ve been working with The Canal & River Trust (and previously British Waterways) for many years looking for opportunities to restore the MB&B Canal. This work will ensure that visitors and local residents will be able to enjoy walking along the canal towpaths safely and it will allow them to soak up the outstanding natural beauty of our waterways.”
Nick Smith, enterprise manager at the Canal & River Trust, said: “The works we’re currently undertaking will greatly enhance the appearance of the canal and improve the towpath for all the local community to enjoy. We’re really grateful to Bury Council and other partners for all their on-going support with the project to restore the canal.”
Press release issued: 11 February 2013.
Picture attached: Cllr Gill Campbell and Nick Smith at the canal.