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What happened to town’s water feature?

The drained canal at Bourton Meadow PNL-140723-153143001

The drained canal at Bourton Meadow PNL-140723-153143001

Where has all the water gone?

That’s the question being asked by readers, as a recently rewatered section of canal in Buckingham began to look more like a dry ditch.

The 350m section of the Buckingham Arm of the Grand Union canal at Bourton Meadow has been relovingly restored by volunteers, at a cost of some £95,000.

The re-watering of the canal section, last September, was the culmination of 21 years of work by Buckingham Canal Society, leading up to the canal holding water for the first time in nearly 100 years.

It was officially reopened by canal society patron and MP for Buckingham John Bercow last October at a ceremony attended by about 250 people.

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

Before it could be refilled, the canal section had to be professionally lined by contractors, using a special clay liner.

But last week reader Peter Gannaway sent in the above picture of the dry canal bed.

Canal society trustee and project manager Terry Cavender told the Advertiser the canal section has been drained after it was found to be losing water more quickly than could be explained by evaporation and a fault was suspected with the lining.

Mr Cavender said: “We have been encouraging the supplier of the liner to come and recognise the issue, which they have done and they’re going to fix it.

“I would anticipate it would be fixed by September or October.”

Once the problem is resolved and the canal is rewatered, the society has obtained Flood Defence Consent from the Environment Agency to extract water from the river to replace water lost to evaporation.

 

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