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Canal towpath collapses in Wiltshire

Hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage caused on Kennet and Avon Canal Credit: Kennet & Avon Canal

Part of a towpath on the Kennet and Avon Canal has collapsed after a lock gate was left open next to the Caen Hill locks.

The weight of water released washed away part of the embankment.

The Canal and River Trust say the damage caused could cost hundreds of thousands of pounds and it does not know if the damage was caused by "carelessness or deliberate vandalism".

It really couldn’t have happened in a worse spot – the pound above Kennet Lock is the longest on the whole canal, so we’re talking about a lot of water rushing down the Caen Hill flight, which has caused the damage.

The Kennet & Avon Canal is over 200 years old, and needs constant maintenance to keep it going, so to have such significant damage to deal with on top of that is very disheartening.

At the end of the day, it’s our heritage, and is enjoyed more than ever by the communities around it, but if we don’t take care of it, we’ll lose it. Please, please don’t let this kind of mindlessness cost us such a valuable part of the landscape.

– Mark Evans, Canal & River Trust

Canal's fish to be moved for lock repairs

Repairs to the famous flight of locks at Caen Hill are due to take place - once the fish are moved to safety Credit: PA

Work starts today to remove 300 lbs of fish from Caen Hill Locks in Devizes so repairs can take place.

The Canal and River Trust will use a technique called 'electrofishing' - an electrical current will make the fish rise to the surface so they can be easily removed.

Electrofishing allows us to safely locate and move the fish, without hurting them at all. It’s also a great chance to see the wide variety of life our canals support, and we’d expect species like roach, bream perch and carp to all make an appearance.

– Becca Dent, Canal & River Trust
This pike was relocated using electrofishing when the lock gates were installed in 2010 Credit: PA

The 200-year-old series of locks will then be drained so the lock gates can be repaired.


Tests fail to find cause of canal boat fire which killed an electrical engineer

Jason Phillips was killed in the fire on the canal boat in Wiltshire Credit: ITV News

Tests have failed to find out how an electrical engineer died in a blaze on a narrow boat on the Kennet and Avon Canal in Wiltshire, an inquest heard today.

Toxicology tests were ordered because a post mortem had failed to find the cause of death. The dead man, Jason Phillips, who was 42, was identified by his brother Stuart. Emergency services were alerted to the fire last Tuesday at Hilperton, near Trowbridge, by a dog walker. The inquest at Salisbury, Wiltshire, has been adjourned to a date to be fixed.

Police not treating canal boat death as suspicious

Wiltshire police say the death of a man found in a fire on a house boat on the Kennet and Avon canal is not being treated as suspicious.

The man - believed to be in his 40s - was brought to land by firefighters this morning but was confirmed dead at the scene.

Formal identification is likely to take place in the next week.

VIDEO: Canal boat freed from Bath lock

Ropes, water and two and a half hours was all it took to free the narrowboat that had been stuck in Bath's Kennet and Avon Canal since 1 November.

The lock has now re-opened after being blocked for a fortnight.


It's all done with ropes and water

Ropes stabilised the canal boat then the lock was filled with water to refloat it Credit: ITV News

The Kennet and Avon Canal in Bath has re-opened after being blocked for a fortnight when a narrowboat got stuck in a lock in Widcombe.

The Canal & River Trusts says the boat had been hired by an experienced crew. It got stuck on a ledge as it was going through the lock on 1 November.

The Trust rescued the boat in a two and a half hour operation. First it attached ropes to the vessel to make sure it remained stable and then carefully let water into the lock until it re-floated.

The boat has been taken for repairs.

Work begins to release trapped canal boat

All tied up... work is underway to release the boat which has been stuck in the lock for a fortnight Credit: ITV News

Work has begun to remove a canal boat that has been blocking the Kennet and Avon Canal in Bath for a fortnight.

It is thought it had been hired by a stag party. It got trapped on a ledge when it was passing through the lock in Widcombe on Saturday 1 November.

Close up on the canal boat's bow during efforts to remove it from the lock in Widcombe Credit: ITV News

Work due to start to free trapped canal boat

The canal boat got stuck in the lock in Widcombe on 1 November Credit: ITV News

Work is due to begin this morning to remove a canal boat that is trapped in a lock on the Kennet and Avon Canal in Bath.

The narrowboat, which is thought to have been hired by a stag party, was trying to go through the lock on Saturday 1 November when it got stuck on a ledge. The waterway has now been closed for a fortnight.

The Canal & River Trust says it is unclear how long it will take to free the boat.

Canal boat remains stuck in a lock in Bath

Canal boat stuck in a lock in Widcombe in Bath Credit: ITV News

A narrowboat that capsized in the Kennet and Avon Canal is still stuck in a lock in Bath.

The boat is believed to have been hired by a stag party. It tipped over after one end became stuck on a ledge in the lock at Widcombe. No one was injured.

The waterway remains closed while the Canal River Trust works out the safest way to remove it.

It comes eight months after the canal was blocked by another hired narrowboat. Read more here.

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