Fringe Box



Along The Wey & Arun Canal – June 2016

Published on: 14 Jun, 2016
Updated on: 14 Jun, 2016

A regular update from the Wey & Arun Canal Trust (WACT), a charity restoring the waterway which once ran 23 miles from Shalford to Pallingham in West Sussex. The Trust has established the Hunt Nature Park, where the canal route meets the River Wey, as part of its aim to create a green corridor for wildlife and recreation.

A common sandpiper has been spotted in Hunt Nature Park, plus a heron, robins and great. Dragonflies have also appeared around the shallow ponds and there are wonderful demoiselles to be seen all along the banks of the Cranleigh Waters stream.

Demoiselle dragonflies snapped enjoying the sunshine in Hunt Nature Park.

Demoiselle dragonflies snapped enjoying the sunshine in Hunt Nature Park.

Members of the public are urged to go and see the burgeoning wildlife in the park, which is alongside the A281 Horsham Road, at Shalford, at the start of the long-distance Wey-South Path.

Along the Wey & Arun CanalFamilies can picnic on the benches at the end of Trust’s viewing platform, which is ideal for observing the local flora and fauna.

The Trust is in the final stages of planning the restoration of the canal from the Wey Navigation at Shalford down to the Gosden Aqueduct over Cranleigh Waters on the edge of Bramley. The park’s viewing platform will eventually be an ideal spot for watching the construction of the waterway and a new lock.

A year-long environmental impact study, a civil engineering design study and a full flood study have been completed for what is phase one of the Trust’s Bramley Link project. Information from the studies will support a planning application for the canal restoration which is expected to be made later this year.

Further down the canal, the Trust has launched a “last push” appeal to complete its new Compasses Bridge, which will allow more than a mile of the canal to be re-opened to navigation.

WACT is seeking to raise £120,000 to finish the crossing at one of the entrances to the Dunsfold Park aerodrome and business complex in Alfold, its largest restoration scheme so far in Surrey.

With volunteers now busy on the final stages of construction work, the Trust has calculated this amount is needed for the completion of the bridge project on the waterway’s Summit Level. Replacing a 1930s concrete causeway which blocked the canal, the bridge was opened to traffic at Easter.

Volunteers are currently laying facing bricks on the concrete shell and demolishing the causeway, with jobs to be finished including landscaping and building a public viewing platform.

Donations to the “last push” appeal can be made via the home page of, or by sending a cheque (made out to the Wey & Arun Canal Trust) to Compasses Appeal, WACT Northern Office, Bridge End, Somerswey, Shalford, Guildford, Surrey GU4 8EQ.

The Trust asks that eligible donors Gift Aid the money they give, which adds 25p from the Government to every £1 – declaration forms available via the website if required.

Just over the county border at Loxwood in West Sussex, the Trust’s trip boat season is in full swing, with public voyages available on Saturdays and Sundays until the end of October and a collection of special excursions on the menu.

Cruises this summer include a Dad’s Bacon Butty Brunch, Midsummer Sensation, Pimm’s & Posh Ploughman’s, Pirates & Princesses and Cream Tea Voyages. Details at – booking essential.

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