Community support

Funding level: Up to £1,000

Description

The Pocklington Canal was last used commercially in 1932, and fell into dereliction over the succeeding decade. In 1969, the Pocklington Canal Amenity Society was formed with the objective of restoring the canal, and thereby creating a valuable amenity for the people of East Yorkshire, and particularly those living in and around Pocklington. Work started in 1970, and currently about half the canal is navigable.

The Society's objectives are to develop the canal for the benefit of a wide range of users including walkers, cyclists, boaters, fishermen, naturalists and enthusiasts for the built environment. Over the years it has worked with the Canal & River Trust, Natural England and the Environment Agency on improving the water quality and opening up the towpath, as well as restoring the locks and bridges.

The importance of the Pocklington Canal for nature conservation is recognised by most of its length falling within three Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Furthermore, parts of the canal have the internationally recognised designations of Special Protection Area (SPA) and Special Area of Conservation (SAC). The lower end, where it borders the Wheldrake Ings National Nature Reserve is included in a RAMSAR site.

All of the nine locks and the four road bridges are Grade II Listed Buildings, and it is argued that, of all the canals in England, the Pocklington Canal is the one that retains its original character most faithfully.

Yellow water lilies grow along most of its length, and the canal is particularly noted for the many species of dragonflies and damselflies seen during the summer months. Relatively unusual native species of birds, such as snipe, curlew, lapwing, yellow wagtail and kingfisher are regularly seen by the canal and barn owls occupy the nest boxes that have been provided in the wooded sections. The water also provides a rich habitat for a variety of interesting invertebrates.

Visitors also come to see the locks and bridges, Church Bridge being regarded as one of the finest examples of a road bridge from the canal era. The towpath is heavily used by ramblers and cyclists, and the water by boaters and canoeists. The Pocklington Canal Amenity Society operates a trip boat on the canal offering trips to young and old, fit and disabled passengers, carrying more than 2000 passengers each year. Fishermen are another big user of the canal..

Since 2015 is the bicentenary of the passing of the Act of Parliament enabling the building of the Pocklington Canal, the Society would like to mark the occasion by producing a new guide for visitors. There have been guides before, but these have become outdated and are out of print. The new guide would be more comprehensive, covering the history of the canal and including descriptions of the wildlife and points of interest that can be seen from the towpath. It would include maps, not just of the towpath, but showing connecting footpaths, thereby integrating the canal with the wider countryside. Interest would be added to the guide by including old photographs and the memories of folk who recall the Pocklington Canal in in former times.

Included in this application are photographs showing:

Church Bridge on the Pocklington Canal,

Canoeists on the Pocklington Canal,

Walkers on the Pocklington Canal,

Volunteers renewing the towpath on the Pocklington Canal,

The 99th birthday party of Hilda Floyd aboard the PCAS trip boat, New Horizons.

A video showing a snipe near the Pocklington Canal is also included.

A quotation of £840 has been received for the printing of 1000 copies of an A5 colour booklet of 48 pages. In addition, there would be design costs of about £120, giving a total cost of £960. Members of the Pocklington Canal Amenity Society would be able to start work on compiling the text, and assembling suitable photographs at short notice, and it is foreseen that the booklet could be in print by the end of 2015

Pocklington Canal Amenity Society

Location: Pocklington Canal, United Kingdom

The Pocklington Canal Amenity Society can be proud that it has persisted with its project of restoring the Pocklington Canal over a period of 46 years, and that it has maintained a membership of around 250. It has also continued to turn out volunteers to working parties throughout this period.
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