Update from the Basingstoke Canal Authority – March/April 2021

Spring has sprung on us!

Our winter works are drawing to a close as I type, with Woodham Locks due to be ready for use by boaters from the 1st April on schedule.

Things didn’t go quite so to plan for the new lock gates unfortunately at Deepcut with some issues encountered, which means we will only manage to get the lower gates at lock 28 complete for the 1st April. The upper gates at lock 27 will be ready soon hopefully and these will get fitted in the Autumn instead.

The softbank works repairing the embayments along the towpath have been ongoing through the winter with a huge list completed, but with now having to halt for nesting season we are not quite going to get through them all. This work will instead get finished in the Autumn.

We are restarting our volunteer teams outside in groups of 6 from the 6th April and we are very excited to see everyone and get underway with the spring works on the canal. Starting off with removal of floating pennywort from the Woking pound and then moving onto cleaning down and painting of the locks so everything looks good for our visitors and boaters through the summer.

We have our own roadmap for re-opening of our services on the canal, based on government guidelines. Although we won’t be able to have all our normal visitor services operational for Easter, we are intending to operate our unpowered boat hire (canoes, sit on tops, rowing boats and pedalos) from the Canal Centre at Mytchett on a pre-booked basis only. Call the office on 01252 370073 to book.

The outside area is open as normal (including the toilets!)  We also plan to open the campsite to self-sufficient campers from 12th April. This is all dependent on government guidelines not changing, however if anything does change we will be sure to post any updates on our Facebook page.

Of course if you wish to take your own boat out on the canal you can do that, but don’t forget to buy a licence before you set out, with all income from this directly supporting the day to day management of the canal.

For more information, click here.

Fiona Shipp, Canal Manager at the Basingstoke Canal Authority.