Glandŵr Cymru, the Canal & River Trust in Wales, has completed a four-month project at Llangattock to repair a 225-year-old stone aqueduct which carries the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal and towpath over the Nant Onneu (a tributary to the River Usk).
Work was needed on aqueduct 7 at Llangattock to repair the structure’s masonry and foundations. This is because of the gradual erosion caused by centuries of river water scouring the manmade stone arched aqueduct.
The Trust needed to raise £400,000 to fund the work which, whilst safeguarding the aqueduct and the canal, also included working with Natural Resources Wales to make ecological improvements to the riverbed of the Nant Onneu. This will help prevent future erosion and benefit fish such as European eels and brown trout, which migrate up the river each spring to spawn.
The work to the river was required because, over the centuries, the abrasive force of the river water on the canal aqueduct had also reprofiled the riverbed, causing it to drop and making it difficult for fish to migrate. So, whilst completing the heritage repairs to the aqueduct, the Trust and its partners installed boulders to slow future erosion and to create stepped pools to make it easier for fish on their migratory journey upstream.
Paul Kelly, from Glandŵr Cymru, said: “The Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal is one of the most beautiful and peaceful waterways on our network. It is here for people to use and enjoy, for nature, and it plays an important role with tourists coming to the canal and supporting the local economy. The aqueduct is a wonderful example of the legacy left by our industrial forefathers. The work we’ve been able to do on the aqueduct will ensure this crucial link in the 35-mile canal is kept safe today and here for generations to come.
“In addition to securing the future of the canal we’ve made improvements that will help fish migrate up the Nant Onneu improving nature and biodiversity. We’d like to thank colleagues at Natural Resources Wales who have worked with us on these improvements and the support of local people who helped with access to the remote site.”
The work on the aqueduct has been vital to maintain the canal. It is part of Glandŵr Cymru’s mission to raise the funds and support needed to keep canals alive. To discover more about the charity’s work, including how to volunteer and donate, visit canalrivertrust.org.uk.