Bank holiday walk to highlight Wilts and Berks Canal restoration (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
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See work completed between Chippenham and Lacock
Updated 4:44pm Sunday 27th April 2014 in News
fundraisers who take part in a walk along the Wilts and Berks Canal will get a chance to see the huge efforts being made to restore it.
The trust has made major changes to the popular annual event, on Monday, May 5, which follows the towpath from Chippenham to Lacock.
Walkers will pass the excavated remains of locks and a dry-dock, as well as restored structures including a wharf and bridge.
New additions to the walk include a short route for people in wheelchairs and mobility scooters, a refreshments tent and toilets at the halfway stage and even a free minibus back to Chippenham if needed.
There will also be a treasure hunt for younger walkers.
The event is organised by the Melksham, Chippenham and Calne branch of the charity.
Branch chairman Derek Flexer said: “This is the eleventh year that we have organised the sponsored walk, but we want to make it extra special as 2014 is the hundredth anniversary of the canal’s closure.
“The five mile route to Lacock remains the same, but we’ll also be offering a three mile route to the spillweir which avoids stiles and has marshals at key stages to help with opening and closing gates. We hope this will provide easier access for people in wheelchairs or scooters.
“The spillweir will be our main display area with teas, cakes and merchandise for sale, as well as toilets available, and many of the volunteers will be dressed as boaters from the late 19th century to add to the fun.
“People will also be able to see one of our restoration work parties in action before continuing on to The Bell Inn at Lacock, formerly a canalside pub.
“After lunch many people head back along the canal to Chippenham, or they can return along a new circular route on the other side of the River Avon, but we know that a free minibus will certainly be appreciated by others.”
The sponsored walk begins at The Buttercross in Chippenham town centre at 10.30am.
Entry is £4 per individual or group, and sponsorship is not needed to take part.
There will be a photographic competition for the best images taken on the day of the walk, with cash prizes for the winning under-18s and over-18s.
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