CanalCuttings.co.uk are now supporters of the The Lapal Canal Project through the Lapal Canal Trust - Striving towards the incremental restoration of the decommissioned half of the Dudley No. 2 Canal, between Selly Oak in Birmingham and Halesowen in Dudley, eventually to full navigation via the Woodgate Valley.
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Aire and Calder Canal Navigation and River Aire
The Aire and Calder was built for commercial freight, and although the volume carried has dropped significantly, particularly since coal deliveries to Ferrybridge power station by canal stopped, the navigation still carried 300,000 tonnes of freight in 2007, down from 1.64 million tonnes in 2000.
Aire and Calder Canal Navigation
Original Owner Aire and Calder Navigation Company
The Leeds to Castleford section and much of the Wakefield branch are now designated as leisure routes, but below Castleford, the industrial nature of the waterway is more obvious, and pleasure boats must give way to commercial vessels. 700 tonne vessels, designed to make maximum use of the locks, produce considerable wash, and are not as manoeuvrable as a narrowboat!
Much of the ex-industrial (western) part of the Navigation now has the appearance of a tree-lined, gently-twisting river. The eastern part of the Navigation, sometimes known as the Knottingley and Goole Canal, is rather different: it has long straight stretches, but mainly through flat land that has always been agricultural. Between Wakefield and Leeds, via Castleford, the navigation is part of a circular cruising route or "ring", formed by the Leeds & Liverpool and the Huddersfield or Rochdale canals. The Outer Pennine Ring utilises the Huddersfield Canal, while the North Pennine Ring uses the Rochdale Canal for the southern crossing of the Pennines. Beyond Castleford, boaters can travel on to Selby, York, Goole, Sheffield, and Keadby. With the possible restoration of the Barnsley Canal and the Dearne and Dove Canal, the section between Wakefield and the New Junction Canal might become part of a new "Yorkshire Ring".
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