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Aqueduct one of the marvels of the waterways in new poll

The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and World Heritage Site taking the Llangollen Canal over the River Dee valley in Wales, has been named as one of the Marvels of the Modern Waterways.

The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

The Anderton Boat Lift in Cheshire, a flight of 21 locks in Warwickshire, a three-and-a-half-mile canal tunnel in Yorkshire and a scheduled ancient monument in Wiltshire are among the 10 new Marvels of the Modern Waterways chosen by Britain’s boaters and canal supporters to celebrate the renaissance of the nation’s 200-year-old canal network and a decade of being looked after by the charitable sector.

The poll was run by the Canal & River Trust charity which took over the care of the nation’s waterways a decade ago in the biggest ever transfer of publicly owned heritage into the charitable sector.

Mark Evans, director of Wales at Glandŵr Cymru, said: “The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, also known as the ‘steam in the sky’ has got to be one of the must-see places for boaters and waterways enthusiasts in Wales. The aqueduct is a stunning piece of canal engineering and really deserves to be part of our new modern marvels.

“Completed in 1805 the aqueduct is the highest in the world and forms part of the Unesco World Heritage Site making it as historically important as Stonehenge. Anyone wanting to visit needs to have a stomach for heights but the views over the Dee Valley is worth the walk or boat across. If you’ve not visited before, make sure to come this summer. Just find a nice spot, bring a picnic, and spend the day watching the world go by.”

Richard Parry, chief executive at Canal & River Trust, said: “Having served as the arteries that fuelled the Industrial Revolution 200 years ago, today the canal network across England and Wales is busier than ever with boats navigating this unique living heritage. The list of must-see spots the public has chosen showcases the breadth of what the waterways have to offer, from stunning feats of engineering to the growing role canals have as beautiful places to spend time and reap the health and wellbeing benefits of being by the water.

"Locks feature highly in the list, and the simple pleasure of gongoozling – watching the boats go by – is an antidote to the hectic pace of modern life. And this barely scratches the surface; with waterways offering free, accessible blue and green space on the doorstep of millions, everyone can find their own special place.

“The creation of the Canal & River Trust 10 years ago has been a great achievement, putting the waterways in trust for the nation and continuing the renaissance of this wonderful living heritage that is the finest of its type in the world. The latest chapter in the story is only just underway and brings its own challenges, with the 250-year-old canals vulnerable to changing weather patterns.

"We are calling on the public and the government to continue to support the waterways so we can continue to protect and preserve this incredible network and avert the decline we saw last century. We hope that people will come out and see these magnificent sites and join us in celebrating hundreds of years of canals playing a vital role in British society and the ways they can continue to serve society in the future.”

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