Work has begun on the Trust’s latest major restoration project at Birtley, near Bramley in Surrey, and a fundraising appeal has been launched with a target of £150,000. 

The stretch at the Northern end of the canal has already become a favourite with walkers thanks to the opening of a picturesque circular walk at the beginning of the year and the Trust aims to bring the waterway here back to life and open it up to small boats.

The project involves the construction of two lift bridges. The substructure of the first bridge was completed in 2019 by regular volunteers and visiting working parties and currently has a temporary fixed deck, set to be replaced with a lift mechanism.

Permission to start work on the second bridge has now been granted and volunteers have begun by preparing an access route and compound in readiness. 

The project isn’t a simple one as it involves the relocation of a gas main under the canal and the Trust is liaising with SSE to achieve this. Members of the EWG group have located the pipe and will be involved in the rechanelling needed, along with creating a bridleway and cycle path diversion needed before bridge construction begins.  

The Trust has been working with the council to get technical approval in principle for the lifting bridges and will soon be looking for contractors to provide the superstructure.

For details on how you can donate to the project, please click here

Donations of any size are gratefully received but you may wish to consider a special donation:

*    Donate £50,000 and you can name the bridge after yourself or a loved one.

*    Donate £25,000 and you can have a steel plate to dedicate or remember a loved one.

*    For anything above £5,000 you can add your  name to a list of donors on a plaque.


The causeway here will be removed and a second of two lift bridges installed. 

The Heras fencing going in. The EWG working party have been looking after the groundwork of the project.

An access track has been laid and a compound set up.

Birtley Bridge 1 with its temporary fixed deck. The deck will be replaced with a lift mechanism.