Restoration of the Montgomery Canal relies on engineering, volunteers and money!
We have a pretty good idea of what has to be done in engineering terms. But engineering projects are not cheap. Thousands of dedicated volunteers have brought 50% of the canal back into water and many others have raised funds and campaigned for the Montgomery Canal.
Our plans to rebuild Schoolhouse Bridge are well advanced. The dry section through Pant in Shropshire will involve the same process as the derelict canal below Redwith, i.e. reshape and line with waterproof membrane, securing with concrete blocks.
We have plans in various stages of development for the two minor road bridges near Llanymynech and the trunk road bridges at Maerdy and Arddleen as well as for the new nature reserves we need to create in the Welshpool area.
There is a lot to do, so plans for restoration south of Berriew still have to be worked on, but there are plans from the 1980s which can be dusted off.
Volunteers have supported the canal so well over so many years. The Shropshire Union Canal Society work parties (the Montgomery is part of the Shropshire Union Canal network), include local volunteers and others who travel several hundred miles to join in. The national Waterway Recovery Group has brought many volunteers to work on its projects – twenty years ago the Kent & East Sussex Canal Group were particularly active at Aston. The Canal & River Trust has active volunteer groups on the canal too.
We shall need to bring in more volunteers for the Schoolhouse Bridge project, now scheduled for next year, with specialised teams to carry out the complex tasks and a local group to draw on to support the site between the visits of those specialists or the contractors who will carry out the most complex tasks, particularly the bridge arch and road surfacing.
If you would be interested in volunteering to help reopen the Monty, please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org.