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Wey & Arun Canal Trust celebrates 50th anniversary

Visit Horsham > News > Wey & Arun Canal Trust celebrates 50th anniversary

One of the top leading waterways charities, The Wey & Arun Canal Trust, is celebrating 50 years of restoring the 23-mile abandoned canals in Surrey and Sussex.  

The Canal Trust will be marking reaching their special milestone with a gala craft rally event for small boats at Loxwood, West Sussex, on Saturday 22 April. 

Canoers, kayakers and paddleboarders are all invited to donate £5 and to register for the event by visiting weyarun.org.uk 

The Canal Trust also will be holding a sponsored walk, the 50th Poddle, on Sunday 4 June. The Poddle will take place around Petworth, the home of the 3rd Earl of Egremont who was the driving force behind the building of the Wey & Arun Junction Canal.  

John Reynolds, the Wey and Arun Canal Trust’s Boat Operations Director, said, “Please put both dates in your diaries! We’re looking forward to welcoming everyone to our celebrations and having some fun on the canal.” 

The Wey & Arun Canal Trust was first established on 5 February 1973, replacing the former Society founded in 1970. The Canal Trust is restoring the canal, built 200 years ago, between the Rivers Wey and Arun, recreating the direct water link between London and the South Coast. The charity was formed in 1973, and membership is now over 3,000, placing it in the top two voluntary canal restoration bodies in the UK.   

To date 11 locks, 24 bridges and two aqueducts have been restored or rebuilt, and over half of the canal has been cleared of vegetation. There is a 3-mile fully navigable section centred on Loxwood along which the Trust runs boat trips throughout the year.

Around 10,000 passengers each year are carried on scheduled and charter boat trips and in addition the canal is enjoyed by canoers, kayakers and paddleboarders.  

To find out more and to register for the event, please go to weyarun.org.uk 

By Gavin Hewins

Published Feb. 6, 2023, 3:30 p.m.