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Ashby Canal Restoration

Leicestershire County Council is leading the restoration of the Ashby Canal from its current terminus at Snarestone to the Heart of the National Forest at Moira.
So far the northern section of the canal has been restored from Moira to Donisthorpe and links Conkers, Moira Furnance and Donisthorpe Country Park in an area that is developing as a premier tourist destination.
The canal is very popular with both visitors and local residents throughout the year and hosts the annual Moira Canal Festival in May.
Moira Canal Festival
Restoration is now focused on extending the current terminus of the canal from Snarestone northwards for a distance of 4.5 km to a new canal wharf at Measham. The power to acquire the necessary land and to construct and maintain the canal was provided in October 2005 when the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs confirmed the Leicestershire County Council (Ashby de la Zouch Extension) Order made under the powers of the Transport and Works Act 1992. In making the Order the Secretary of State noted that “the scheme is consistent with national, regional and local policies, would contribute significantly to regeneration objectives and would produce considerable economic, environmental and social benefits”
The main objectives of the next phase of restoration are to;
  • Advance and accelerate continuing economic regeneration of the area and contribute to rural diversification and social inclusion through opportunities for employment, leisure, recreation, learning and skills.
  • Provide a green gateway to the National Forest and develop and link the recreational tourism facilities.
  • Improve the environmental quality of the area.
  • Provide a recreational, cultural and social resource for the local community.
  • Connect Measham, and ultimately Moira, to the national waterways network.
Ashby Canal restoration work
Since the Transoprt and works Order was made in 2005 a great deal has been achieved; the necessary site investigations and studies have been carried out, planning requirements have been met, land acquisition has been secured and development proposals have been prepared. The first phase of construction, the Snarestone connection and the first of three nature reserves was completed in August 2009. The canal is proposed to be constructed in further phases northwards to Ilott Wharf and then to Measham. Ultimately it is proposed to extend the canal further north from Measham to connect to the restored canal at Donisthorpe.
Proposed canal map
Route of the next phase of restoration - Snarestone to Measham.
View the Ashby Canal Restoration Business Plan Summary (.pdf, 1.3 MB)
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Page Last Updated: 16 August 2012