Issue date: 3rd July 2013
Works to make a popular stretch of Caldon Canal towpath more accessible and user-friendly for the local community are complete and were officially opened by Charlotte Atkins, chair of the Canal & River Trust’s Central Shires waterway partnership, on 27th June.
The Caldon Canal towpath through Cheddleton has been rebuilt to give walkers, cyclists and disabled visitors a clean, green traffic-free route, between two of the area’s most important and popular historic attractions.
The ‘Connecting the Heritage’ project has seen the Canal & River Trust improve 1.2km of towpath linking the Churnet Valley Railway Station and Cheddleton Flint Mill making it easier for people to visit both.
The project has also included the creation of a wheelchair-friendly boat access point at the Flint Mill, specially designed in conjunction with The Beatrice Charity which provides boat trips for those with a need to get afloat, along with the installation of new visitor moorings near to the steam railway station to enable boaters to stop and use the shops, pubs and other facilities, providing a welcome boost to the local economy.
The improvements are the first big community-inspired project to be delivered as part of the Churnet Valley Living Landscape Partnership (CVLLP) which is aimed at protecting, enhancing and celebrating the special landscapes of the Churnet Valley.
The £200,000 project has been part funded by CVLLP with additional funding being provided by Communities Mean Business, the Canal & River Trust and the Garfield Weston Foundation.
The project has also benefitted from significant involvement of volunteers from the Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust and IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch (formerly known as IWA Stoke-on-Trent branch).
The volunteers campaign got underway on 4th March 2007, when a Cheddleton Waterway Community Day was held and the village was invited to come down to the canal for a walk, to enjoy a fun Sunday afternoon out and to say how valuable the canal is to your community.
The event was organised by IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch in partnership with the Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust, Stoke-on-Trent Boat Club, the Beatrice Charity and Cheddleton Flint Mill Industrial Heritage Trust.