If mud is considered beneficial for the complexion, Wilts and Berks Canal Trust volunteers should have enviable skin.

Members of the Chippenham, Calne and Melksham branch have been toiling in sludge since last summer to restore the 200-year-old Cocklemore Brook Culvert at Pewsham Locks, which collapsed during last year’s wet winter.

Members of the public are being invited to see first-hand the progress made during the sponsored walk from the Buttercross, in Chippenham, on Sunday, May 10.

It is hoped the culvert will be fully restored this summer so work can start restoring the canal between Pewsham and Lacock.

Volunteers were inspired to redouble their efforts in December after a £10,000 donation from Yorkshire Building Society.

After working with the mud, many were banned from their homes until they had been hosed down.

Project leader Ray Canter said: “We will probably have to hire in a second four-inch pump to try to reduce the waterflow through the culvert sufficiently; it is very difficult laying bricks under water, even when wearing waders.

“Wavin Plastics were kind enough to donate some 400mm twin-wall plastic piping; this piping, with the aid of the second pump, will enable us to control the waterflow while repair work is carried out.”

Fundraisers: charity auction on March 26 at The Angel Hotel in Chippenham at 7pm; quiz night on March 30 at Lansdowne Hall, Derry Hill at 7pm; race night on April 18 at the Woodside Social Club, Calne, 7.30pm.