HS2 funds further Lichfield Canal restoration

Published: Wednesday, 01 November 2023

LICHFIELD  Canal restoration reaches its next chapter thanks to HS2 funds.

A £75,000 HS2 grant awarded to Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust (LHCRT) has helped restore a 120 metre section of canal.

Ecology trail

The project includes an ecology nature trail which will be open to the public.

aqueductRoadLichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust (LHCRT) has completed construction of a section of canal restoration thanks to a £75,000 grant received from HS2’s Community & Environment Fund.

(The photograph shows the important aqueduct that will carry the carry the canal over the M6 toll road that was completed in 2003.)

LHCRT started their wider restoration project in 1996, aiming to create a green and blue corridor to help connect the local community with the national canal network.

The funding from HS2 has enabled LHCRT to build a new section of canal and improve habitats around the Darnford Brook wetlands, including restoring the existing woodland and hedgerows. Now filled with water, the area is quickly becoming an established and diverse habitat for local wildlife, with a nature trail alongside the towpath which will be open to the public.

Electric boats

The new section also incorporates ducts for electric boats, which will help reduce the carbon output from diesel boats using the canal in the future.

Carol Mills, Chair of LHCRT, explained:

“We are so grateful to HS2 for the CEF funding. It kickstarted our work at Darnford Moors Ecology Park with phase one of the project creating water and other new habitats on land running alongside the canal. This initiated a chain reaction to enable us to secure further funding for the other phases. We’re close to completing the project and will officially open the ecology park in the coming months, which will be an attractive green and blue space for local people to enjoy.”