PCAS Restoration Plans
The full restoration of the Pocklington Canal continues to be a key objective of PCAS. We continue to work with the Canal & River Trust to ensure that the restored length of canal between the River Derwent and Bielby remains navigable.
The lasst major restoration project carried out on the canal involved partnership work with the Canal & River Trust and Natural England. and resulted in the restoration of two miles of canal between Melbourne and Bielby, which was completed in 2018 and marked the bicentenary of the the opening of the canal back in 1818.
Here is a report from Paul Waddington, PCAS Chairman, about current and future plans for restoration
The Restoration of the Pocklington Canal
Where we stand today
The Society is currently working on two schemes at Coates Lock. The first is to dredge the winding hole located immediately above Coates Lock. This is an original feature of the canal that has probably not been used for more than 100 years, and consequently heavily silted. Its reinstatement, along with other work at Coates Lock, would allow boats to turn after passing through the lock, and thus allow the length upstream of the Bielby Arm to be used by boats.
The dredging will be undertaken by a land based machine placed in the field to the east of the canal. The dredged material is to be spread on that field serving to improve the soil, which is very sandy. A contractor has been appointed and is expected to start this autumn. A complication has been the discovery of a badger sett in the area, but a way of working around this has been agreed.
The other project at Coates Lock concerns the lock gates. These are making a poor seal, and although the lock is just usable, the leakage would cause considerable loss of water as each boat worked through. It is intended that in the Spring of 2024, a canvas dam will be used to dewater the lock, so that the repairs can be carried out. The Canal and River Trust will be funding the installation of the temporary dam, and the works will be a joint effort between the Society and CRT.
Looking further into the future, it is hoped that there will be a further initiative to restore Sandhill Lock. This project had to be put to one side about a year ago, due to differences between PCAS and CRT over the way in which the works would be supervised. This is a major project, which would take three to four years to complete using volunteers. If agreement can be reached between CRT and ourselves, it is possible that work could start towards the end of 2024. Although the Society has some funds in place for this project, the cost is likely to have risen significantly since we last costed it a few years ago. Also some of the funds earmarked for the project have been diverted to the works at Coates Lock. Consequently more fundraising will be required.