Community support

Funding level: Up to £1,000

Description

The Pocklington Canal Amenity Society (PCAS) was formed in 1969. It was set up to restore the 9.5 mile canal as an amenity to be enjoyed by all. PCAS is entirely operated and manned by volunteers.

The last commercial use of the canal was in 1932 after which the canal gradually fell into disuse, with little or no repairs being undertaken. The canal could have disappeared completely in the 1960's when proposals to infill the waterway with sludge caused local people to protest and form PCAS to ensure its protection. By the late 1980's the canal had been cleared of vegetation, with locks and swing bridges repaired, between the entrance to the canal from the River Derwent at East Cottingwith up to the Melbourne Arm, a distance of approximately 5 miles.

PCAS launched an appeal in 2015 to progress the restoration of the Pocklington Canal, so that a further two miles would be navigable by 2018, this being the 200th anniversary of its official opening. The proposed restoration work would involve repairs to Thornton and Walbut locks, near to the village of Melbourne in East Yorkshire. Brickwork would be repaired and all lock gates replaced. Work to the canal itself would involve some dredging work and the building of several additional landing stages.

We have now pushed the project forward through fund-raising events, bequests, support from local communities and via applications to funders. The work to the first lock has been completed and work to Walbut Lock is due to begin to ensure that everything is completed for a reopening ceremony in 2018.

We continue to work closely with both the Canal & River Trust and Natural England to assist them in their aims to provide improved habitats for rare species of plants, animals and insects which thrive on the waterway.

By next year (2018) the canal will be navigable and clear for wildlife for 7 of the 9.5 miles of its length. The next major restoration project will begin immediately with the repair of Sandhills Lock. This will involve a large amount of structural repairs to brickwork that has become unstable over many decades and has, in some areas, cracked and moved and is now close to collapse. PCAS hopes to use voluntary labour to rebuild the chamber and wing walls of the lock. This will require the de-watering of the structure to allow work to take place safely and after repairs have been completed new lock gates will be needed.

All of this work will require capital to purchase basic equipment; mortar, sand; safety fencing, tools - the list is long but after almost 50 years there is a palpable feeling that the vision of complete restoration of the Pocklington Canal is actually in sight.

The Pocklington Canal Amenity Society

Location: Pocklington

The Pocklington Canal Amenity Society is run entirely by volunteers to protect a nationally important example of our shared historic built heritage. Individuals give hundreds of hours in helping to preserve this beautiful waterway for generations to come.