Skip to content Skip to navigation

Caldon Canal – access and towpath improvements

Partner Action Number & Description

WP3 Action 2

Social Outcomes - Working in the Churnet Valley Living Landscape Partnership ( CVLLP )

 

Description / Nature of Pilot

CVLLP & GBF  – Caldon Canal – access and towpath improvements

 

Proposal

The Caldon Canal in the CVLLP area has 22 accesses linking to 8 signed long distance walks, 5 wood and nature reserve walks , 3 locally signed walks , 5 towns and villages and local visitor attraction – Flint mill and steam railway.

The Caldon Canal access and towpath condition report has identified 4707 metres of towpath that is in poor condition and needs restoration – this includes 1,456 metres that requires the canal bank to be reinstated.

The towpath should be restored using local stone to create a hard walking / cycling surface with the canal banks protected from wash erosion , where necessary , to ensure longevity and sustainability of the restoration. Access to be formalised and improved where possible and two new DDA compliant access points installed.

On going maintenance will be the responsibility of the Waterway – we are not obliged to maintain to the condition of the improvements; CRT normal maintenance regimes will apply.

This project will go through CRT books

It is in the enterprise business plan

Restoration proposal

Utilising the expertise within Canal & River Trust and the CVLLP Project team to set up a programme of works delivered by young people on a mixture of employment skills building programmes and potential volunteer programmes.

Installation of bio diverse friendly bank erosion protect using arisings from the tree management programme and resurfacing the towpath with locally sourced stone from our partner , Lafarge , will require formal training and qualifications in – woodland management , chainsaw usage , boat handling skills , use of tracked dumpers and mini excavators , use of historic agricultural tools and DDA compliance awareness.

Repair and resurfacing to other structures will require skilled historic lime mortar brick and stone laying , cobble and sandstone restoration, rebuilding dry stone walls and potentially installation of modern non-slip long lasting surfaces.

Analysis of Inspection

P08210 - Towpath & Access Condition Report

The above link identifies the condition of the towpath in relation to its ability to sustain walking and cycling (not Highways standard).

The analysis reveals the following:

  • Towpath is in good condition - no improvement required – 7,311metres
  • Towpath is fit for purpose and requires normal maintenance regimes – 2,975 metres
  • Towpath that requires soft bank protection and resurfacing – 1,456 metres
  • Towpath that needs resurfacing – 4707 metres
  • Towpath requires drainage – 300 metres
  • Towpath requires bridging to over sail streams – 5 No

Other surfaces

Bridges -There are 32 bridges in total.

  • 8 require renewed surfaces under the bridge - 240m2 of surfacing
  • Aqueducts - 2 Aqueducts need surfacing – 240m2 of surfacing

Accesses - There are 31 access points

  • 4 need formalising
  • some need replacing with kissing gate to improve access
  • some need minor repairs
  • 2 potential DDA accesses

 

Pilot Framework / Timescale

Works programmed 2013 to 2016 managed by CRT. Restore 1,456 m of canal bank using mainly hardwood posts interwoven with pliable timber such as willow – all material to be sourced and handmade from timber produced by the tree management plan. Towpaths – 4,707m to be hard surfaced , using local stone, 1.8 m wide to allow walking and cycling on the same path, recognised original surfaces at bridges, aqueducts etc to be restored as original.

 

Funding / Budget

HLF £97,920 John Paul Getty £50,000 Green & Blue Futures £51,920 = £199,840

Above funding is cash (not in kind ) to be spent on the project

Outputs – 100 young people placements, formal training qualifications gained ( C & G Certificate), work experience skill gained, 22 access formalised, 6km of footpath restored, 100 tonnes of tree waste recycled, 1.5 km of vole and otter friendly bank protection installed.

1.2 Decision by Engineering Manager

Based on the information provided, the Engineering Manager will decide which of the following potential solutions apply:

a) Further investigation (Note; this can be directly instructed by the EngM and funded through the Investigations Budget following the defined approval levels)

b) Monitoring regime

c) Minor GWP works – agreement should be reached with the Waterway Manager on timescale to ensure this is programmed into the core waterway spend.

d) No work required

e) Major Works or Enterprise Funded

 

Technical or Engineering Assessments / Issues

SOLUTION ANALYSIS

2.1 Further Investigation

2.2 Monitoring Regime

2.3 Potential Major Work – Optioneering Report

2.3.1 Option 1

Do nothing – do not take up the offer of the funding

Lost opportunity to refurbish accesses , towpaths and badly drained sections of embankment.

2.3.2 Option 2

Take up funding and complete the works described in chapter one

2.3.3 Option 3

Waterway to address worst bits – piecemeal – over time as complaints / claims are received

2.4 Decision

The Scope of Work will be as follows (based on Option 2 above):

• Towpath that requires soft bank protection and resurfacing – 1,456 metres

• Towpath that needs resurfacing – 4,707 metres

• Towpath requires drainage – 300 metres

• Towpath requires bridging to over sail streams – 5 No

There are 31 access points

• 4 need formalising

• Some need replacing with kissing gate to improve access

• Some need minor repairs

• potential DDA accesses

 

Pilot Outputs

Outputs – 100 young people placements, formal training qualifications gained ( C & G Certificate), work experience skill gained, 22 access formalised, 6km of footpath restored, 100 tonnes of tree waste recycled, 1.5 km of vole and otter friendly bank protection installed.

The environmental/heritage enhancements of the chosen options are as follows:

Specific species habitat will be enhanced ( water vole and native crayfish )

 

Constraints / Requirements

Environmental: Species migration and habitat are considered in the vegetation management plan.

Soft bank protection will improve vole habitat. A full environmental assessment will be needed for the project – EAP 1207-3011-3241-9338 scope has been produced .

Heritage: no heritage structures are to be worked on – we need to be aware of the lime stalactite formed between Br 52 and Flint Mill Lock that is significant in local geology terms and may have special protection.

Again a full heritage assessment will be needed for the project

Water Management: The Caldon Canal is a main feed for the Trent and Mersey Canal and none of the works will adversely affect water supply – the natural drainage of outlying land will be improved as part of the project

Navigational Stoppage:No required

Provisional Construction Dates: to be agreed with CVLLP and Waterway team

The following are consents potentially required and typical timescales for each:

??Planning Permission – canal is a conservation area so consents may be required

??Land Drainage Consent – out lying land does drain into the canal

A Register of Project Risks, if not already initiated, for the preferred option will be initiated at the booklet review meeting.

 

Pilot Stakeholders

The following stakeholders should be contacted for further information/support/advice:

Internal

Tom Freeland – Volunteer coordinator Central Shires

Richard Burnett – Environment Contact

Jon Telford – Waterway Contracts Supervisor

Chris Bailey – Enterprise Manager

Simon Harding – Project Engineer

Darren Green – Project Sponsor

Rob Malpass – Senior Waterway Engineer

Sally Boddy – Engineering Manager

External

Keith Tomkins – CVLLP Project Manager

 

Recommended Design Delivery

Via the Waterway and led by Tom Freeland and Jon Telford

 

Pilot Delivery Strategy

These works and outputs will be delivered via various methods

• Minor works contract

• Volunteer programmes

• Employment experience schemes

• A mixture of the above

Project Manager will liaise with the waterway volunteer co-ordinator , contracts supervisor , local supervisors and the CVLLP team to deliver efficiencies in resource use, availability of volunteers, recruitment and training of volunteers and work experience people.

 

Risks & Opportunities (additional to Green & Blue Futures outputs)

Opportunities:

• Raising the profile of CRT

• Recruitment , retention of volunteers for CRT

• Accredited training for volunteers and staff

• 1.5 km of bank protection installed

• 4.7km of towpath restored

• £25,000 of Project Management time accounted for in the project

• £700 per head for accredited training for volunteers

Risks:

• CRT reputation if we do not now sign the contract and deliver the outputs

• Too few volunteers

• Substantial rainfall delaying the programme

 

Future Cost Implications / Maintenance Requirements

Full drainage systems will be placed in the worst areas to ensure path surface sustainability.

Local stone will be used, without timber edging allowing the towpath to eventually grass over and be maintained under normal CRT regimes.

Bank protection installed will ensure future maintenance liabilities are lowered.