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Introduction
 
The Wyrley Branch of the Wyrley Essington Canal extends for almost 4 kilometres through South Staffordshire from Broad Lane, Essington, through Great Wyrley to Dundalk Lane, close to the centre of Cheslyn Hay.
 
Wyrley Essington Canal
 
This branch canal was once busy with boats carrying coal from the pits around Great Wyrley and Essington.  With the decline of the pits the canal closed in the mid 1950’s and fell into disrepair.  The towpaths became overgrown and the canal gradually silted up.  The landscape around it was semi derelict disturbed by the affects of coal mining.
 
In 1980, after the purchase of the disused Canal, South Staffordshire Council commissioned Land Use Consultants to prepare a feasibility study which assessed the technical problems concerned with reclaiming the Sneyd Branch Canal and formed the basis of a reclamation strategy.
 
The canal was reclaimed in part by the Council using Derelict Land Grant and by the NCB (latterly British Coal) as a restoration condition of opencast coal permissions.
 
natsfield fishing
It has taken some years to fully implement the restoration strategy. The restored towpath and the new footpaths through open areas were raised above water level to ensure that the walk remains usable throughout the year.  Timber footbridges have been installed to create interest and provide long views along the canal.  Wherever possible, steps and changes of level have been eliminated. A car park was constructed at each end of the linear walk.
 
 
Parts of the canal have been dredged to remove silt, leaf litter and reed matting and create areas of open water for wildlife benefit.  Information panels have been installed to show a plan of the walk, explain the history of the canal and illustrate its wildlife.
 
balancing pool
The result is a linear open space of contrasting
landscape character which is generally well used and appreciated by the local communities along its length.
 
 
Getting Involved
 
If you are interested in nature conservation or local history and want to become involved with the Wyrley Branch Friends Group, Grounds Maintenance and Bereavement Services can offer advice and information to help you become part of the group.
 

Forms / Documents:

 

Contact Grounds Maintenance and Bereavement Services for more information
 

 
External Link: British Waterways
External Link: Forest of Mercia
External Link: Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust
External Link: Staffordshire Wildlife Trust
External Link: Waterscape
 
 

Contact:

 
Grounds Maintenance and Bereavement Services
Telephone: (01902) 696406
Fax: (01902) 846553
 
 
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