Buckingham canal idea really does hold water

Water spills over the spillweir as the section of canal at Bourton Meadow is re-watered
Water spills over the spillweir as the section of canal at Bourton Meadow is re-watered
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Members of the public are invited to visit Buckingham’s new ‘water feature’ on Sunday.

A 350m section of the Buckingham arm of the Grand Union Canal has now been re-watered, following major work by volunteers from Buckingham Canal Society this year.

The re-watering is the culmination of 21 years of work by the canal society. The section now holds water for the first time in nearly 100 years.

Residents are invited to a launch event from 11am to 3pm on Sunday.

Members of the team will be on hand to talk about the restoration and displays will include maps showing the historic canal, archive material and photographs of the restoration work being carried out.

Originally, the waterway to Buckingham ran for just under 11 miles, from the Grand Union Canal at Cosgrove Lock along the Stony Stratford and Buckingham Arms.

The restoration work was made possible thanks to a grant award of £69,985 from WREN, enabled by £7,698 of seed funding from Aylesbury Vale Community Chest.

Before heavy work could start, some vegetation had to be removed and a natural river ford enhanced, to create access to the site for the contractors and their machinery.

The canal was then then professionally lined with a special clay liner, before it could be filled with water.

The final phase is the resurfacing of the towpath and replanting nearby hedges.

Access to the canal is opposite the entrance to Burleigh Piece. Follow the signs to the Ouse Valley Way.