'Stroudwater Navigation Connected' is a wonderful project that will complete the restoration of one of England’s earliest canals, tell the stories of how the canal was built more than 200 years ago, bring more wildlife into the Stroud Valleys and provide local people and visitors with new places to visit and new things to do.
'Stroudwater Navigation Connected’ is only 4 miles (about 6 kilometres) long, but in 2023 when it is planned to be finished it will link Stroud and Stonehouse to 2,500 miles of England’s waterways. There will be a continuous towpath for walkers and cyclists, linked to the wider network of paths and trails. As well as narrow boats there will be trip boats, boating for the disabled and canoes. Old locks and bridges will be restored and new ones will be built. There will be a completely new stretch of canal through the ‘Missing Mile’, made specially wide to make more room for wildlife. Wherever good sites are identified we will erect bat boxes and kingfisher nest boxes. We want to work with landowners either side of the canal so that the whole canal corridor becomes more wildlife friendly. Enthusiastic volunteers will play a huge part in restoring and looking after the canal, making places for wildlife, telling stories and involving visitors in stories about the canal and the people who made it. We are sure that the canal will provide new opportunities for local businesses to thrive.
This is an ambitious project. Overall it will cost about £20 million. We plan to ask the Heritage Lottery Fund for £10 million. About £5 million is already promised by 4 Core Partners (Stroud District Council, Canal and River Trust, Gloucestershire County Council and Cotswold Canals Trust). We are exploring other sources of support from other organisations. We also need support from local people, businesses, the boating world and in fact everyone who would like to see this ambitious project succeed. So you can help!
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