New bridge opens on River Arun Canal in attempts to make it the ‘most scenic in the country’

A new bridge has been built near Pulborough to open up a historic canal route on the River Arun.

Andrew Griffith pictured with John Reynolds (left), director of boat operations and also conservation adviser, and Peter Winter (right), deputy secretary and also editor of the volunteer newsletter.
Andrew Griffith pictured with John Reynolds (left), director of boat operations and also conservation adviser, and Peter Winter (right), deputy secretary and also editor of the volunteer newsletter.

The newly built bridge in Harsfold near Brinsbury has been completely rebuilt by Wey & Arun Canal Trust volunteers to replace a causeway which was blocking the former route of the canal.

So far, the Canal Trust volunteers reconstruction work has included 21 bridges, two aqueducts and 11 locks plus culverts rebuilt and miles of canal bed cleared.

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The Canal Trust believes once the route is fully restored, the Wey and Arun Canal would rate among the most scenic in the country, befitting its historical status as a secure lifeline for trade and munitions between London with the south coast ports.

Arundel and South Downs MP Andrew Griffith met with the team behind the Wey & Arun Canal Trust to hear about their work to restore the canal route section by section.

Mr Griffith said: “It is hugely impressive what the Wey & Arun Canal Trust have achieved so far in bringing this historical equivalent of a motorway back to life. In National Volunteer Week it is a reminder of the thousands of residents who volunteer their time in many different ways in order to benefit the community.

“I’m a big fan of a country walk along a waterway and at a time when there is such a focus on mental health, it is terrific what the trust have done to open up some stunning walks.”

Mr Griffith also met with Wey & Arun Canal Trust chairman, Sally Schupke, vice chairman, Margaret Darvill, and trustees, John Reynolds, Giles Eyre and Peter Winter, who explained the history behind The Wey and Arun Canal.

In celebration of National Volunteers Week, Mr Griffith extended his thanks to all the thousands of volunteers who have put such hard work into the reconstruction to date.

The Trust’s annual fundraising Poddle walk will take place on June 12 from Sidlesham.

Last year’s event raised last year to go towards the restoration project.

The Canal Trust also announced last week that due to low water levels caused by the lack of rain over the last two months, some of its boat trips on Saturdays and Sundays will be affected.

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