The Trust has entered into an agreement with C&RT to do work around both ends of Hincaster Tunnel and has applied to adopt this area.  After submitting a large number of documents this has been approved at local level and we are waiting for the final decision.  If granted it means we will be able to carry out approved work on our own without involving CRT.   At the moment the work is to improve the area to prepare for the extra visitors who are expected at attend and admire it during the bicentenary celebrations of the canal opening to Kendal in 2019.

During the autumn we continued with the previous work at Hincaster strimming the paths and clearing overgrown vegetation. A new job was cleaning moss from the walls at both ends of the tunnel. In the spring we will start again but the work should be easier this year. We also expect to be erecting a new handrail alongside the steps at the eastern end to improve safety. CRT will be making repairs to some of the walls which will make it safer for us to work close to them.

Some years ago new hedging was planted alongside the horsepath. We have at last got round to weeding this and cutting back the undergrowth. We were pleased to find that most of the new plants had survived. This has still to be completed. We were dismayed to find in February that the farmer’s contractor had decided that ‘our’ hedge was included in his work and had flailed the tops of the new trees. We are waiting to see if they have survived that and the winter cold.

More excitingly we made good progress with stone walling alongside the lower towpath at the eastern end.

It was agreed that the upper wall was of such quality that it should be repaired by a professional waller and was paid for by CRT. The lower wall was repaired by our volunteers who would be trained in the art of walling by Brian Jones

Two loads of stone have been collected from the quarry and delivered to Hincaster. We used a motor barrow to transport it from Wellheads Lane to the site. Under the supervision of Brian Jones the existing walls were knocked down, the soil cut back and the wall re-laid. We have completed about two thirds of the work and are waiting for another load of stone before completing the work. Lancaster Canal Trust would like to thank Alan Wilson of L & W Wilson of Endmoor, Cumbria for not only allowing us to choose the best stone for the wall at their quarry but also for delivering it to Hincaster.

All other work was carried out on the First Furlong and is covered in the Restoration Report

David Gibson


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