AN AMBITIOUS canal restoration project in Wiltshire got a boost last month thanks to the hard work of a team of volunteers.

Some 18 volunteers from the Waterway Recovery Group (WRG), joined forces with the Cotswold Canals Trust from April 19-27, to help complete the Weymoor Bridge project, near Latton.

Weymoor Bridge is one of the largest canal restoration projects in the UK. The main traditional arched brick bridge has now been re-built but volunteers taking part in a canal camp were still needed to complete the gabion wall, repair wing walls and to make a public footpath safe.

The working party consisted of volunteers from the UK, France and Germany. While many were very skilled and had completed canal camps before, many were first time volunteers who were keen to give their time to canal restoration and learn new skills.

David Evans, who led the Waterway Recovery Group camp, said: “Huge progress in completing the overall project was made. A lot of heavy materials had to be moved manually but the team never flagged in their ambition to get the work completed.

"Training in the use of excavators, dumpers and compacting machinery was also given to many volunteers to increase their skills.”

Weymoor Bridge had almost been demolished but with the help of The Cotswold Canals Trust and supported by WRG volunteers, this traditional arched brick bridge is expected to be reopened later this year.


to view a list of camps and dates.



Weymoor Bridge once carried a track over the Thames and Severn Canal and on to Latton Basin.

The bridge-arch was levelled and replaced by a causeway in the early 1950’s. The track subsequently crossed the main A419 trunk road over a new road bridge when the Latton Bypass was constructed in the 1980s.

The new Weymoor bridge is a conventional looking red brick hump-back bridge, but will have less of a 'hump' as far as traffic is concerned.

The bridge is similar in style to the original, but will be capable of taking 44 tonne vehicles. The original would have had a weight limit of about 3 tonnes.

This is the first new brick-built bridge to be undertaken by the Cotswold Canals Trust.

The rebuilding of Weymoor Bridge was started in 2014 when the groundworks were completed and the steel centring was installed. Centring is used to provide a temporary structure on which to build the brick arch just like when the original was built.

Work on the rebuild was delayed during 2015 while some design and construction issues were resolved.

The track that used to go over the bridge site has been diverted while the new bridge is constructed. This provides access to one residential property ( Basin Cottage) and nearby fields.