Taking control

Pictured are Mike Marshall (Canal and River Trust) Paul Waddington, chairman of PCAS; Richard Harker, PCAS working party coordinator; Martin Walton (Canal and River Trust).
Pictured are Mike Marshall (Canal and River Trust) Paul Waddington, chairman of PCAS; Richard Harker, PCAS working party coordinator; Martin Walton (Canal and River Trust).

Pocklington Canal Amenity Society (PCAS) has formally adopted part of the 9.5-mile Pocklington Canal.

This move has further enhanced its partnership with the Canal and River Trust, the charity that cares for the waterway.

PCAS was formed in 1969 by local people keen to restore the Pocklington Canal.

The volunteer working group began immediately, and was responsible for restoring and opening the 5-mile stretch between the River Derwent and Melbourne.

As well as carrying out restoration to locks, the volunteer group helps maintain the canal through weed 
cutting and maintaining the Canal Head picnic area.

A registered charity, PCAS has now ‘adopted’ the 2.5-mile stretch from Melbourne to Bielby Arm, including Walbut Lock, which its volunteers are currently working on with the aim of extending the navigable length of the canal by two miles so that boats can reach Bielby.

Tim Charlson from Pocklington Canal Amenity Society said: “We were formed to protect, restore and encourage use of the canal.

“We now have several hundred members and are well supported with people giving their time and money to help

“We’re really pleased to ‘adopt’ this section of the Pocklington Canal and be working with the Canal & River Trust to help it thrive.”

Lizzie Dealey, Pocklington Canal project officer at Canal & River Trust, said: “We’re delighted to formally recognise the hard work and passion of Pocklington Canal Amenity Society through our adoption scheme.

“It is wonderful to see so many people working together to preserve and promote an important community asset, and we look forward to building on the wonderful things achieved so far.”

Pocklington Canal this year marks its bicentenary, and the Canal & River Trust is leading a Heritage Lottery Fund project to carry out a variety of restoration and enhancement work and host community events and activities.

This Heritage Lottery Fund project complements the current PCAS restoration project, and has included the restoration of the Grade II Listed Church Bridge near Melbourne. More recently, approximately 8,000 tonnes of silt was dredged out of the canal to create more open water, essential for the survival of rare aquatic plants such as pondweeds.