Pocklington Canal is navigable once again in time for anniversary

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part of a once-derelict canal has been made navigable for the first time in a century, ahead of a bicentenary celebration.

Boats passed through a two-mile stretch of the 9.5 mile Pocklington Canal yesterday after restoration projects by the Canal and River Trust and Pocklington Canal Amenity Society.

Canal boats  set off from the Melbourne Arm of the Pocklington canal.

Canal boats set off from the Melbourne Arm of the Pocklington canal.

Half the canal was brought back to use by the mid-1980s and work has now taken place to make Thornton Lock and Walbut Lock operational and open up a stretch from Melbourne Arm to Bielby Arm for the first time in 100 years.

Yesterday’s official opening with a small flotilla and ribbon- cutting ceremony comes ahead of a festival taking place this weekend to mark the 200th anniversary of the canal’s original opening back in 1818.

Highlights include boat trips, willow weaving, morris dancing, live performances and guided walks at Melbourne Arm.

Lizzie Dealey, project officer at the Canal and River Trust, said: “It’s amazing to think that Pocklington Canal is 200 years old and still as important today as it was when it first opened – just in a different way. Now, instead of being a route for transporting goods it’s a haven for wildlife and a beautiful spot where people can relax.”

The festival runs from 10am each day.