IT IS disappointing to read that ecologists are again trying to bring extra restrictions to the restoration of the Montgomery Canal (19 May), this time by calling for the scrapping of plans to rebuild bridges that have blocked the canal for many years.

As I write, last minute preparations are in hand for this year’s popular canal triathlon which brings visitors from across the country in support of the restoration.

Event stewards and a series of traffic signs will help those on the cycling and running sections as they cross the roads at these blockages.

The canoe section avoids these road crossings.

I have carried a boat across the A483 more than once and I can tell you it is no fun.


The borderland canal route between Newtown and the World Heritage Site at Llangollen features the Rivers Severn and Dee, market towns, heritage railways, long-distance footpaths, castles and ancient earthworks. 

There are also canalside nature reserves specially designed to safeguard flora and fauna which would not survive if the canal were neglected. 

The current programme will see over 16 acres of new reserves (6.8 hectares) along the canal around and north of Welshpool.

County Times:

The restored canal offers social, environmental and economic benefits for the whole community as an asset for the visitor economy with conservation of its special built and natural environment and opportunities for recreation and well-being, especially for those who will no longer have dash across busy roads.

Managing the canal for all interests, owners the Canal & River Trust have of course to comply with all statutory requirements. 

They face a particular challenge with invasive plants which could clog the canal managed by dredging (easier when bridges are reopened) and some boating use.

It is reassuring that the floating water plantain for which this canal is noted has been successfully conserved by the Canal & River Trust on the Rochdale

Canal reopened for propeller-driven boats over twenty years ago.

The thousands of miles of canal across Great Britain include many attractive places where visitors and residents can watch the boats go by, some on busy canals and others on quieter waterways, which is what the

Montgomery Canal will remain. In economic terms the Levelling-Up project anticipated benefits to the area amounting to £62 million over 10 years. 

Benefits like that clearly demonstrate the value of rebuilding those few remaining bridges north of Welshpool.

Our vision for the canal, with features of managed boating use referred to by your correspondents, has been built over many years through discussions with local authorities, ecologists in the voluntary and regulatory sector and other interested parties. 

It is the vision of a Canal for All.
Michael Limbrey
Chairman, Montgomery Waterway Restoration Trust/Ymddiriedolaeth Adfer Camlas Maldwyn

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