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Next step in dredging Newport's canal is imminent

By Rob Smith | Newport | News | Published:

A fortnight of dredging to help preserve animals and plants that thrive in Newport's canal will begin in the next two months.

Part of Newport Canal, near Cosy Hall

Phase II of the Shropshire Wildlife Trust's dredging project is set to begin in September or October, once a contractor has been identified.

It follows a period of dredging last year and will mean another footpath diversion. The trust said that increasing the depth of the canal will make life easier for the fish and plants in the water.

The 2km section of the canal through Newport was designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in 1986 for its plant life which included various species of pondweed, yellow water-lily, frogbit and corn clubrush, but in the years since, siltation has led to a loss of water depth.

Last year the Shropshire Wildlife Trust launched the Newport Canal SSSI Recovery Project, backed by funding from Natural England and the European Fund for Rural Development for the Water Environment Grant.

A new statement from the trust said that the 2020 phase of the project will begin soon.

Sediment

"Following a number of online video calls with key stakeholders and interested parties, we are moving towards Phase II canal dredging works and generation of a re-invigorated management plan for the site.

"Once sediment testing is complete and the contractor has been selected and notified, dredging is anticipated to commence late September to October 2020, over a period of approximately two weeks (avoiding weekends).

"This timing avoids school holidays, therefore footfall on the towpath is reduced, and is better suited for wildlife. A temporary footpath diversion is likely to be required, as in 2019, so please look out for signage nearer the time.

"We hope that Phase II of this project will, once again, cause minimal disruption, and, in combination with the efforts in 2019, will achieve measurable benefits for local people, tourists and wildlife alike, complementing the hard work undertaken by the local community groups and volunteers to protect this beautiful slice of canal."

Rob Smith

By Rob Smith
Reporter

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based at Ketley in Telford.

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