Restoring waterways

IWA's West Riding Branch endeavours to see that waterways that have fallen out of use are restored.

What is there to restore?

In the branch area we support one active restoration project being led by the Barnsley, Dearne & Dove Canals Trust.

The Barnsley Canal was 16 miles long, and 14 of those are proposed for restoration, whilst the Dearne & Dove Canal's mainline was 10 miles long.

Barnsley aqueduct

The Barnsley Aqueduct burst in 1911 (Photo from The Star, 2015)

A number of years ago, Bradford Council funded a feasibility study, by British Waterways (now Canal & River Trust) for the Bradford Canal and seemed quite serious about restoring it as part of wider regeneration. But it fell by the wayside with the onset of austerity.

Barnsley Canal

The Barnsley Canal proposed restoration route (Map from

IWA's Restoration Hub

IWA resources the Restoration Hub, which is the central point for any group undertaking waterways restoration. The Restoration Hub provides resources, advice and requests for practical help through our Waterway Recovery Group (WRG).

WRG runs week long working holidays and weekend digs for volunteers to make a large difference on a restoration project in a short space of time.

If you're interested in practical canal restoration, find out more: