On Monday 7 November, Wendover Canal Trust (WCT) staged its biggest ever community engagement event with more than 100 guests from 85 different organisations, to mark the 25th anniversary of work starting on restoration of the Wendover Canal.
The occasion also enabled the Trust to provide an update on its activities, hold a dialogue with representatives from local organisations and thank its current supporters.
At the event, which was held in Your Café in the Park in Aston Clinton, WCT chairman Clive Johnson said the canal was almost impenetrable when the decision was taken to restore it and the first task was to clear the hawthorn scrub.
He said that volunteer construction started in 1997 and that ‘our wonderful volunteers have been doing heavy construction work for 25 years – and we are all unpaid.’
He added: ‘Our plan is that by the end of 2025 we will complete our lining of section which has always leaked near Tring, then we will restore the water level all the way to Wendover for boats to Buckland, and eventually Wendover. None of this would have been possible without the funders of the restoration and the towpath upgrade.’
The canal and its towpath were becoming a green corridor, he said, ‘accessible to us all to boost our well-being, with increased biodiversity.’
Ros Daniels (Canal & River Trust Director for London and South East) proposed a celebratory toast and other distinguished guests included Commodore Tim Hennessey, RN DL, Deputy Lieutenant of Hertfordshire; Wing Commander Anna Toothill, Deputy Station Commander, RAF Halton and Councillor Christopher Townsend, Mayor of Tring.
More than 30 WCT volunteers liaised with the guests and the event was sponsored by FCC Environment, Fairhive Homes, Independent Hire and Village Environmental Services.