Canal Restoration at Hereford

Route of the Canal into Hereford City

Starting from the North, the historic line of the Canal runs parallel to the Sutton St Nicholas Road and crosses under the A4103 Roman Road (where the former Hereford & Worcester County Council built a new bridge for the Canal in 1995). A little further the Aylestone Park Project Site is reached.

After a short infilled section through Holmer Trading Estate, Aylestone Tunnel takes the Canal under the main Newport to Shrewsbury/Worcester railway line.

Emerging from the tunnel, the restored canal will need to deviate along a former railway siding from its original line to avoid a large factory, and then to pass around the Hereford Retail Park (where a new footbridge and new road bridge were built to accommodate the future line of the Canal in 2000).

The historic line is regained just before the Burcott Road site, Widemarsh Canal bridge is next and, shortly afterwards, the Canal will terminate in a New Hereford Basin.

Aylestone Park – A quick summary……

Canal restoration by the Trust in Hereford began in earnest in August 2002 following the acquisition of the Aylestone Park site by Herefordshire Council, and the formation of a partnership between the Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal Trust, Herefordshire Council and The Aylestone Park Association.

The plan was to develop the site to provide much needed sports and recreational facilities, and to restore the quarter mile section of the canal running along the northern boundary of the park.

The Trust’s initial intention was to clear the line of the canal of 100 years of rubbish and undergrowth, and to open up the towpath as part of the new facilities offered by the park. Trust volunteers, supported by the Waterways Recovery Group managed much work to clear the towpath.
Further work to restore the canal at Aylestone Park followed – click for more details.

Hereford Retail Park

Here the Canal corridor takes a detour from its historical line and a channel around the car park of the retail park marks the new route.

In 2000 an elegant canal bridge was built over the future Canal corridor.

In 2000 a wooden footbridge was built over the future line of the Canal at Hereford Retail Park.

The channel around the retail car park shows the new line for the restored Canal.

The Burcott Road Site

Canal Trust Members may well recall that we own a section of the Canal line behind the new houses on Newtown Road running adjacent to Burcott Road, Hereford. This was secured as part of that housing development, and in 2010 we undertook some initial clearance there to tidy things up.

At the time we acquired the site there was a compound at each end, one by Widemarsh Canal Bridge and the other at the opposite end by the entrance to Tudors, just short of the new Farrier Way Canal Bridge that was built as part of the Hereford Retail Park development. These two sections were owned by Herefordshire Council and had various temporary structures on them and a right of way between them over our section of Canal.

As part of the developer contribution to the Canal on Newtown Road site the tenants of these compounds were relocated so that the sites could be cleared over the last couple of years prior to their transfer to us.

Earlier this summer, Herefordshire Council transferred both of these blocks of land to the Canal Trust, so that we now have a deliverable section of Canal within the City Centre.

We are currently in discussions with the Council and Herefordshire Futures as to the most opportune timing for the restoration of this section – watch this space …

Link to Photo Gallery showing scrub clearance at Burcott Road

From Widemarsh Bridge   behind the old and new houses on Newtown Road, a corridor of land has been cleared along the original line of the Canal.

From Widemarsh Bridge behind the old and new houses on Newtown Road…

… a corridor of land has been cleared along the original line of the Canal.

Dr Robin Andrews, Chairman of the Trust at that time, and the Mayor of Hereford.
He said, “With the upsurge in industrial archaelogy, now may be a timely moment to reassess the remnants of the old Hereford and Gloucester Canal.”

Hereford Basin

Close to the centre of Hereford is an area known as Edgar Street Grid, where a major redevelopment of a large area is well advanced.

Detailed contributions have included an appraisal of the opportunities that arise from the presence of the Canal, together with what has to be achieved in order to gain maximum benefits for the City from the Canal.

The interests of both the City and the Canal are felt to be best served by a larger single Basin, rather than the three individual arms of the original terminus.