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Along The Wey & Arun Canal – May 2017

Published on: 19 May, 2017
Updated on: 19 May, 2017

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.

WACT is giving other charities and organisations the opportunity to raise money by joining in its biggest fundraising operation of the year, the Poddle sponsored walk.

Everyone is welcome to take part in the event on Sunday, June 4. A bonus for community groups is that they can raise money for their good causes through a 50/50 sponsorship option – without having to do any of the organising.

The Poddle promises a stroll in beautiful countryside viewing heritage sites which are off the beaten track.

The Trust provides a detailed guide to the route, a free lunch and refreshments including tea and cake along the way.

In return for a great day out in the Arun Valley, individuals raise a minimum of £20 each for the Trust in sponsorship. Teams of walkers which can collect more than £200, a minimum of £20 each, split their proceeds equally with WACT.

This year, walkers will follow a 12-mile route around the Arun Valley, starting and finishing at Ingfield Manor School at Five Oaks, north of Billingshurst, with lunch at Wisborough Green Scout Hut.

The route includes the canal from Loves Bridge, past Rowner Lock – the site of the first volunteer working party on the canal – to Lordings. Walkers will be able to see a unique waterwheel and a restored aqueduct.

Poddle co-ordinator Margaret Darvill said: “Our 50/50 arrangement particularly benefits groups such as the scouts and guides and other young people’s organisations. We make all the arrangements, they help themselves and the trust while enjoying a day out in some lovely countryside.”

Register to join the Poddle at www.weyarun.org.uk/events. For more information, call Margaret on 01483 894606 or e-mail her at poddle@weyandarun.co.uk.

The most recent example of a completed WACT project can be seen at Compasses Bridge, off Dunsfold Road in Alfold, at the rear entrance to the Dunsfold Park aerodrome and business complex.

Trust volunteers have completed the construction phase of the £750,000 project, which includes a public viewing platform alongside a new canal bridge. Efforts will soon move towards finishing desilting of the canal south towards Tickner’s Heath, so that one and a quarter miles of the waterway’s Summit Level will be open to navigation by small boats.

The boat trip season is in full swing at Loxwood, where the Trust has three and a half miles of fully operation canal.

Trip boat Josias Jessop crewed by desperate buccaneers during a Pirates and Princesses event on the Wey & Arun Canal at Loxwood.

There are public trips every Saturday and Sunday and on bank holidays until the end of October and plenty of specials such as cream tea voyages for adults and Pirates and Princesses adventures for children. See the website for details.

Find out more about the Wey & Arun Canal Trust and its plans for restoring the waterway between Shalford and Bramley at the Surrey County Show. WACT officers will be pleased to see you at their stand in the Visit Guildford marquee at the show on Bank Holiday Monday May 2.

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