£12,300 has so far been donated toward the £1.5m needed to repair the breach at Dutton on the Trent & Mersey canal. C&RT now has a poster you can download to promote the appeal, or you can donate £5 yourself by texting ‘BREACH’ to 70800.

Canal Breach at Dutton Hollow
Canal Breach at Dutton Hollow; Photo thanks to Roger Evans

At Dutton the pound past Bartington Wharf has been rewatered but actual investigation works are ‘at an early stage’. However C&RT still seem optimistic that the repair work will start at in December and be completed by next Spring.

The site of the other breach at Croxton near Middlewich has been cleared and excavations are underway to find a solid foundation, reopening is expected by Christmas. However the opening could be brief because the canal is due to be closed again in the New Year for gate replacements at Crows Nest Lock (January 7th) and Kings Lock (February 4th). C&RT are consulting about possible changes to the stoppage programme, possibly doing some of this work before Christmas.

Convoys of boats trapped away from their home moorings by the closures have been leaving the Trent and Mersey and crossing to Ellesmere Port using the Manchester Ship Canal. More are planned and anyone else wanted to join a convoy is asked to contact the Red Bull Office urgently on 01782 785 703

The CRT Boaters’ Update is now encouraging all boaters to report ‘anything that causes, or has the potential to cause, an injury or damage to property’. Perhaps if they could also find a way to encourage and enable all canal users, walkers, locals, farmers etc. to report leaks and towpath disturbances before they became breaches they could save a lot more money!

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