Lancaster Canal - Northern Reaches

Photo: Northern end of Lancaster canal by Adrian & Gillian Padfield

(12 miles, canal mostly owned by Canal & River Trust, but the most northern parts in various ownerships)

The northern part of the Lancaster Canal became derelict following the building of the M6 motorway, which in 1968 severed the canal from Tewitfield Locks through to its terminus in Kendal.  At this time, this northern part of the canal was still navigable, but the savings in motorway construction costs by not building navigable crossings were deemed more worthwhile than the amenity lost, despite a campaign of protest by IWA and Lancaster Canal Trust.  Much of this cut-off northern part of the canal still remains in water, acting as a feeder to the rest of the canal; only the most northern section has been filled in.  A consortium of local authorities, IWA, Canal & River Trust and Lancaster Canal Trust promotes restoration as part of the Lancaster Canal Regeneration Partnership, but despite several studies work on the Northern Reaches has mostly been limited to restoring and maintaining various structures and controlling vegetation. Since 2012 however, with the help of  several WRG canal camps transformation has started on a section of the canal near Stainton which should see the range of the Trust's trip boat extended by 2015.