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Canal blocked by landslide reopens after work

Workmen clear the canal at Debdale Wharf near Foxton. Photo courtesy of Glen Tillyard.

Workmen clear the canal at Debdale Wharf near Foxton. Photo courtesy of Glen Tillyard.

WORKERS have cleared a channel through a 60-metre section of the Grand Union Canal which was blocked following a landslip.

It is believed the slippage at Debdale Wharf, near Foxton, was caused by heavy rain which saturated the ground making it unstable.

Maintenance staff from the Canal and River Trust, the new charity that looks after the canals in England and Wales, started work last Monday to dredge a channel and allow the waterway to reopen to boats.

The work was completed on Saturday, a spokesman for the trust told the Mail today (Monday).

Jeff Whyatt, senior manager for the Canal & River Trust, said the channel was a temporary solution, as not all the material could be removed from the canal while the banks remain so wet.

To attempt to could cause further slippage, he said.

“By dredging the centre section and the towpath side of the canal we will be creating enough space for boaters to navigate this stretch, and at the same time working out the best permanent repair for the embankment,” he said ahead of the work.

The Trust is carrying out investigations to find out the exact cause of the slippage.

It said initial findings suggest the embankment above the canal may have become unstable as a result of the recent prolonged rain which saturated the ground causing a section opposite the towpath to slip downhill and into the canal.

 

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