Canal Restoration at Moat Farm

Work at Moat Farm, near Malswick, started on site in 2012 and is a great restoration site with a good length of well defined canal bed much of which had remained virtually undisturbed since its abandonment when the railway was constructed. This small site is another important piece in the jigsaw! 

The summer months saw small team repair fences, erect working party access gate(s), remove old fencing and posts and survey the site to establish the work required, in liaison with the owners, for next winter.

During 2013/14 H&G CT volunteers used their skills and time to restore the canal. The team is made up of volunteers old and new. Tea and lunch breaks are an important feature of restoration work, so it was important to create a sheltered ‘amenity’ area where these could be taken. Fortunately, at the south end of the site, the former railway bridge offered a readymade shelter. The area beneath was soon cleared to provide a relatively dry and suitable retreat. With a table and chairs set out, and the kettle boiling on its gas ring, everyone is happy!

Fortunately, not many mature trees existed in the actual bed of the canal. The wet conditions favoured few varieties however the genus Salix (Willow) was one such and a large example could be found midway through the site. It appeared to have grown and fallen a number of times and resembled something that might be found in a scene from Lord of the Rings. A couple of sessions with chainsaws reduced this monster to a six-foot stump which will be removed sometime in the future.

Please note – there is currently no public access to this site.

The north end of the site marks the location of the two chamber staircase lock known as Double Lock. Unfortunately, nothing exists at ground level and it is probable that most of the masonry was buried or removed by the railway navvies. We will be carrying out some trial excavation here to see what remains.

More on the story of canal restoration at Moat Farm…