Hereford & Worcester

Lack of rain delays Droitwich Barge Canal opening

Barge Canal
Image caption The canal forms part of a 21-mile route around the scenic heart of Worcestershire

Lack of rain has delayed the opening of a historical canal in Worcestershire.

The Barge Canal in Droitwich was restored by British Waterways as part of a £12.7m scheme to create a cruising ring around Worcestershire.

British Waterways said despite the work the canal, which has been out of use for 80 years, could not be opened due to the low water level.

A spokesman said: "We are monitoring the river levels every day and are just waiting for it to rain."

Ceremonial trip

Water is being fed in from the River Salworpe but there is not enough to operate the canal locks on a regular basis, without affecting the river's wildlife, it said.

A ceremonial trip was made by a canal boat on Monday to mark the completion of the 250-year-old canal's restoration.

Low rainfall in the past six months means there is not enough water to fill the canal for public use.

British Waterways said the way the canal is filled was a temporary measure until 2011 when it opens the Junction Canal, which completes its 21-mile (33.8km) circuit, that will be fed by the big central reservoirs in Birmingham and Worcestershire.

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