Bringing back London's Lost Route to the Sea
In the 19th century it was possible to travel by boat from London to Littlehampton on the south coast of England via the rivers Wey and Arun, linked between Shalford in Surrey and Pallingham in Sussex by the 23-mile Wey & Arun Canal. Like many canals, though, the growth of the railways led to its demise and in 1871 the canal fell into disuse.
The Wey & Arun Canal Trust was formed by volunteers in 1973 with the dream of restoring the 23-mile navigable link and recreating the direct water link between London and the sea. Their vision is slowly becoming a reality and so far 22 bridges and two aqueducts have been reconstructed, 11 locks restored and a new one built, culverts rebuilt and many miles of canal bed cleared and dredged.
Volunteers' efforts have meant many thousands of people enjoy the restored sections of canal, towpaths and diverse wildlife it attracts.
Our next project
Funds are now needed for the Trust's latest project - the creation of two lift bridges at Birtley in Surrey, to complete a picturesque circular walk and open up another area of canal to visitors.
The bridge is being designed and built entirely by volunteers, but we require funds to buy equipment and materials. With your help we can complete this project and ensure many more visitors get to enjoy the beauty of this historic waterway.
The section of restored waterway at Loxwood in West Sussex is well used by anglers, canoes, kayaks and paddleboards and the Trust's own trip boats, while the towpath is enjoyed by many walkers, horse riders and cyclists.