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Wessex Waterways

Restoration Trust


Do you believe that restoration of the two canals is a worthwhile endeavour? 


Do you believe that WWRT will achieve the restoration?

     WWRT does not expect to complete the whole project on its own – it does intend to work with other organisations to achieve completion.
How long will it take? 

Based on experience, the majority of the restoration of historic locks, historic farm access bridges, and the construction of the most of the new farm vehicle access bridges could be done in 15 years.  This can only be done if we start preparing to deliver some of those projects now - it generally takes more than a year to assemble the technical solution, the landowner consent, the approvals (planning consent, etc) and the funds.

What about the bits that volunteers can't tackle?  As momentum builds and more structures are completed (and maintained) pressure will build on the Local authorities, Highways authorities, property developers and other agencies to become more actively involved to help with the bits we can't do on our own.  Sections in Swindon and elsewhere have been tackled alongside property developments and we are sure there are more places where this can be done and will be done.
What about your relationship with Wilts & Berks Canal Trust? We have made it clear that we have not been formed to compete with them nor to undermine what they are doing and aiming to do.  We have formed the Wessex Waterways Restoration Trust to complement their approach and to do things that they are not doing.  All the work needs to be done, and doing it sooner is better.  Building more momentum in the project is vital to successful delivery of the finished canals.
Why 'Wessex Waterways Restoration Trust'? We have taken a name which is distinctive and clearly differentiates us from the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust.  Our name describes what we will focus on (restoration), and 'Trust' is an appropriate name given our charitable status - we are a CIO registered at the Charity Commission.
Do you aim to work on waterways other than the historic North Wilts Canal and the historic Wilts & Berks Canal? No - except that we will work on the new sections of route which contribute to the projected through routes of the two canals.  Our Charitable Objectives are specific to these two canals and do not permit us to work on any other canals .
Will you join the WBCT as a corporate member? We will eventually apply to join.
Are you willing to work on the former branches of the historic canals - Calne, Chippenham, Longcot, Wantage?  Yes, if and where they are projected to become part of a connected waterway system.  We feel that priority should be given to the main line sections first, which will ensure that any branches that are restored can be used.


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