Thousands of fish rehomed as work starts on £1m repairs to Lancaster Canal

The Canal & River Trust has started work to repair Bolton-le-Sands Embankment on the Lancaster Canal.

Thursday, 3rd December 2020, 11:42 am
Updated Thursday, 3rd December 2020, 11:45 am

The charity, which cares for 2,000 miles of waterways in England and Wales, is investing nearly £1 million refurbishing the 200-year old stretch of canal.

In order to carry out the much-needed repairs a 2km section of the canal will be drained and a team of fisheries experts will brave the cold water.

The fish, including roach, perch, eels, chub and bream, will be removed and safely rehomed in another stretch of the canal.

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Fish rescue on the Lancaster Canal.

The canal bed will then be relined with clay with a man-made liner on top, which is a modern take on the methods used to help keep the canal watertight when the canal was first built.

The work is expected to be completed by March 2021.

The towpath will be closed between Bolton Church Bridge (Bridge 122) and Barkers Bridge (Bridge 127) for the duration of the works.

However, sections of the towpath might re-open as work progresses. Information will be updated on the Trust’s website.

David Hennessey, project manager at Canal & River Trust said: “The Lancaster Canal is a valuable resource for the local community who use it every day as an amazing place to go for a walk, cycle, or simply to get away from it all and get close to nature.

“By investing this money we’re not only protecting the historic fabric of the canal but ensuring that people can continue to spend time by the water, which we know from research is so important for people’s health and wellbeing.”

Known as the ‘black and white’ canal, the Lancaster Canal originally connected Kendal to Preston and was built to transport coal barges north from Lancashire's coalfields and limestone south from Cumbria. It is one of the country’s few coastal canals. Built along the natural lie of the land it offers 41 miles of lock free cruising - the longest lock-free stretch in the country.

For more on the work of the Canal & River Trust and to find out how you can volunteer and donate to support their work visit