In recent months, around three times the usual number of locals have discovered or returned to the Canal as a place to improve their physical and mental wellbeing in nature, whether to exercise or simply enjoy the quiet spaces. Our local communities across Surrey and Hampshire really value the freely accessible and varied outdoor space that is right on our doorstep. The canal not only has a rich history but is an important nature site, with the classification of a Site of Special Scientific Interest from Natural England. There is also a strong desire to improve the canal and help it develop as a leisure destination for individuals, clubs, families and nature enthusiasts to enjoy.
However, the future of the Canal is increasingly at risk as many local council budgets have become stretched – and that’s unlikely to change.
Planned initial investments
To answer the challenges to the future of the Canal, in our role as a charity, supported entirely by around 250 volunteers, we have a number of exciting projects which will improve the attractiveness of the canal for all users.
10 Information Signs will be placed at regular points throughout the full length of the canal, helping people to understand the local history of that stretch, and improve the quality of visitor experience with informational maps marking car parking sites, villages, ways and rules of using and enjoying the canal and how to support its’ future.
Total project cost £20,000
Make a one-off donation to fund our Information Signs Project
A replacement 12 passenger eco-friendly electric boat at Woking to include disabled access. Our existing diesel-powered trip boat, Kitty, moored at Woking is reaching the end of its’ useful working life. We wish to replace her, with a more environmentally friendly Hybrid vessel, more in keeping with the Canal’s status as a SSSI., and to provide customers with a more pleasurable trip experience, and also allowing access for a much wider audience.
Total project cost £150,000
We are also planning to create increased mooring facilities at Odiham.
Total project cost £tbc
So, how can you support the Canal?
1. Make a one-off donation to fund our Information Signs Project
2. Become a volunteer or member of Basingstoke Canal Society
3. Tell your friends, family, colleagues about the canal, the society and the ways they can support it