Farmers complaining of canal leaks

Published: Friday, 10 September 2010

FARMERS are suffering from leaks in a canal and complaining that British Waterways are doing nothing—it's the Leeds & Liverpool of course.

They have complained to British Waterways that its failure to repair the leaking waterway is ‘endangering their livelihoods', with one,  Neil Hanson. who farms near the canal at  Greenberfield, complaining that  it  is not just a lack of rainfall that is the problem, but the fact that a lot of water is seeping away.

Flowing streams

Another farmer, Tim Pilling, who is spokesman for the group of farmers, pointed out to British Waterways that on one farmers' land alone there are more than 20 leaks, ranging from seepages resulting in permanent soft land unable to bear the weight of agricultural machinery to flowing streams losing thousands of gallons a day.

Pointing out that it leaves large areas of good farmland becoming unproductive, remarks, in multiple cases unusable and dangerous, adding:

"Despite many letters, requests and even the deployment of agents, British Waterways refuses to act or acknowledge liability. Instead they close the canal, endangering the economic futures of many small businesses that rely on the supper trade from this important local resource."

Being repaired

A British Waterways spokesman stated that leaks were being repaired as money became available, stating:

"There are always going to be some leaks in this canal. It is a clay base and very old and we have to prioritise our works programme to ensure the safety of our customers, the integrity of this historic structure and protection of wildlife."