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Wey & Arun Canal Trust launch bridge appeal

The Wey & Arun Canal Trust (WACT) has already restored a section of canal near Alfold, in Surrey, on the summit (highest) level next to Dunsfold Park airfield.

Their next aim is to replace the causeway with a new bridge which at present blocks the through navigation for boats.

But before that can happen the Trust needs to raise £700,000 and carry out some major engineering work.

WACT hopes to raise £180,000 of the target for the Compasses Bridge project by the end of this year so that work to replace the existing concrete causeway can start on site in April 2015.

"The initial funding target will allow us to complete the design and planning work and choose our contractor," explains WACT chairman Sally Schupke. "We will then need to raise the next £290,000 by September next year to fund the construction phase and the final £230,000 to complete demolition and landscaping work that will enable us to reopen the navigation."

Completion of the project will result in a further 2km of the canal being restored and create more opportunities for trip boats and for boating events. According to Sally, the work will also enhance the "green corridor" and is all part of the Trust's strategy to make significant progress in Surrey.

"While the total cost of this work is a large sum, we are staging it over more than two years to match the sequence of construction and to maximise our opportunities to draw on a wide range of funding sources," said Sally.

If you would like to contribute to this element of the restoration being undertaken by WACT, which is one of three major projects currently underway, donations can be made via the website - or by sending a cheque payable to "Compasses Bridge appeal", WACT, The Granary, Flitchfold Farm, Loxwood, West Sussex RH14 0RH. Cheques payable to "Wey & Arun Canal".