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Compasses Bridge Appeal – almost 60% of funds already raised

We are delighted to be able to report that the Trust is making excellent progress in raising the £700,000 needed to bring back to life a section of the waterway between Dunsfold and Alfold in Surrey.

By the end of 2014 we had raised more than £413,000 for this project, a major element of which is the building of a new bridge at one of the entrances to Dunsfold Aerodrome, at the end of Three Compasses Lane in Alfold.

The new bridge will replace the main barrier to navigation in this section of the canal – a concrete causeway into the aerodrome which was built during the Second World War.

Once the bridge is ready for use, on a realigned entrance road, the causeway will be demolished and boats will be able to travel freely on the canal for nearly two miles.

Trust Chairman Sally Schupke said: ‘We are restoring part of the canal in Surrey nearly 150 years since it was closed down in the 19th Century.

There will again be a green corridor between Tickner’s Heath in Dunsfold and Fast Bridge on the A281 at Alfold.

This is an exciting part of the trust’s overall plan for the Wey & Arun, especially as it will bring part of the canal in Surrey back to life. There will be opportunities for everything from narrowboats to canoes and, of course, the canal is great for wildlife, walks in the country and cycling. Waverley Borough Council is considering a planning application for the bridge and road realignment and it is hoped enabling work can start in the early part of 2015.’

The Trust aims to officially re-open the restored section in time for the 200th anniversary of the northern part of the canal being declared open at the Compasses site in September 1816 but of course this all depends on being able to raise the remaining funds needed, currently around £280,000.

We are continuing to make grant applications for this project but if anyone has any thoughts about other sources of funding including individual donations we would be delighted to hear from you.

Every donation, of any amount, will help us to bring the completion of this exciting project a step nearer.

January 2015