New path leads to source of Llangollen Canal

Towpath improvements have been completed along the source of Llangollen Canal which is proving a big draw since becoming a world heritage site.

More than £30,000 was set aside for upgrades to the path to access Horseshoe Falls, Llantysilio, which is situated in a valley on the outskirts of Llangollen.

Part of the money has also been used to create a new path at Trevor near the imposing Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Community participation has been at the heart of this project from the outset.

The work forms part of a wider project to improve community access and involvement in the 11-mile 17km stretch of canal made a world heritage site in 2009.Volunteers helped to carry out the work, said Piers Warburton from British Waterways who is leading the project.

Members of the Shropshire Union Canal Society have also been installing benches, enabling visitors to “rest and absorb the stunning views”.

Last month, the UK Government gave the go ahead to move British Waterways’ canals and rivers in England & Wales into the so-called third sector – or not-for-profit – as a new “national trust” for waterways.

The plan, says British Waterways, builds on its proposals to safeguard the future of waterways and encourage greater community involvement through initiatives such as the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct & Canal Project.

This has included wildlife habitat creation schemes to encourage colonisation by native species such as otters whose numbers have been found to be increasing along the world heritage site.And a new group, friends of Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Llangollen Canal, known as Aqueducks, has also been set up to continue the work once the official project ends next year.

Other schemes include the formation of walks showcasing the history of the area and community arts projects.And the new towpath at Trevor links to a community woodland walks.

The project focuses on communities along the world heritage site route which are Chirk Bank, Chirk, Pentre, Froncysyllte, Trevor, Garth, Llangollen and Llantysilio.

“Community participation has been at the heart of this project from the outset, so it is fitting we hand over a vibrant and dynamic shared vision when the project officially ends next year,” said Mr Warburton.

“We want to leave a healthy community legacy based on the abundant heritage and wide biodiversity of this history rich area.”

via BBC – New path leads to source of Llangollen Canal.

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