The Chellaston section runs from the junction of the Derby Canal with the Trent and Mersey (T&M) canal at Swarkestone to Shelton Lock. Part of the original Derby Canal is still evident and is occupied by the Swarkestone Boat Club. Volunteers have previously restored the bridge over the canal at the head of the boat club’s moorings.
Fly the canal route virtually
Andy Savage at www.derbyphotos.co.uk is a supporter of the DSCT and produced some excellent aerial 360 photos in June 2021 of the T&M canal at the start of the Derby Canal at Swarkestone Lock, at Bridge No.14 just further along the canal path, at the Cuttle Brook footbridge and at Shelton Lock in the heart of Chellaston. In addition, Andy has uploaded a drone flight video of the route from Swarkestone to Infinity Park Footbridge, and Infinity Park Footbridge to Shelton Lock. Enjoy!
Progress to Date
The construction of the A50 Trunk Road means that some realignment of the Derby Canal is needed. South of the A50 a new lock will be needed to allow the Derby Canal to pass through the existing now redundant farmers culvert under the A50 alongside the foot / cycle path with the water level approximately 2m below its original level. This lower level will continue until north of Infinity Park Way where a new lock will be constructed to commence the canal’s climb into the city.
With the proposed housing developments to the west of the restored Derby Canal the canal will be ideally placed to assist with the sustainable drainage of that development. The canal section will release any surplus water flows into the Trent & Mersey Canal and/or Cuttle Brook south of the A50 and away from the housing on either side of the canal.
The margins of the Derby Canal will form wildlife corridors particularly the opposite side to the multiuser path that will run alongside the restored canal, with the addition of the aquatic life in the canal itself.
To further define the canal channel the Trust’s volunteers have commenced the removal of poor-quality trees from within the channel. The core of a number of the cracked willow trees were found to be rotten making them susceptible to falling. With a number of more valuable trees being at risk from being overwhelmed by ivy the ivy has been cut from these finer specimen trees to try to extend their life. Dead hedges which get great reviews from environmentalists as they provide much needed cover for small mammals and birds have been constructed by piling thinner branches and other brash on the west bank. They are great for fungi and insects, which then provide food up the food chain. The Trust now have these dead hedges at Sandiacre, Borrowash and now Chellaston. The hedges are easier and quicker to construct as opposed to the use of a shredder, which of course is using diesel fuel.
It should be noted that the Trust has planted a considerable number of trees elsewhere along the route of the canal and has planted and maintains a ¾ mile long hawthorn hedge at Draycott and has supplemented hedges at other locations. Similar works will happen here in the future as part of the ongoing restoration.