In 1970 a few enthusiastic individuals formed the Wey & Arun Canal Society. More supporters were quickly gained, and in 1973 the Society was re-formed as a charitable Trust Company, the Wey & Arun Canal Trust Limited. (Registered Charity No. CC265331)
The aim of the Trust is to achieve the restoration, as a public amenity, of the navigable link between the Rivers Wey and Arun, and so recreate the direct water link between London and the South Coast. Already, twenty one bridges have been reconstructed, two aqueducts reconstructed, eleven locks restored, culverts rebuilt and miles of canal bed cleared. The Canal Trust is currently working in Birtley, near Bramley, near Wisborough Green and the next major project is likely to be a new canal bridge at Tickners in Dunsfold where planning permission has been granted.
The Trust has an agreed Conservation Policy. Its aims are to identify, restore and maintain essential features of the natural and manmade landscape affecting the waterway and to maintain and enhance the diversity of habitats of nature conservation value.
The Trust is an almost entirely voluntary organisation, relying on the support of its members and friends, as well as the generosity of local businesses and the goodwill of local councils. The Trust is fortunate to have the services of volunteer professional engineers to design and supervise its restoration work. The work is carried out by the Trust's own work force, volunteers who meet every weekend, with the help of visiting voluntary groups on both long weekends and two-week summer camps. For specialised work, the Trust employs professional contractors.
Materials, plant and sub-contractors are financed by the Trust's own fund-raising operations. The money is raised by appeals, fundraising events such as the annual sponsored walk and boat trips which are based in Loxwood, West Sussex.
Full restoration involves the solution of many problems which the Trust would be the last to underestimate. The Canal Trust commissioned a feasability study which gives it confidence that the obstacles can be overcome, as they have been already on canal restoration schemes elsewhere.
Fully restored, the Wey & Arun Canal would rate among the most scenic in the country.
Join the Trust
By becoming a member you will be supporting one of the most exciting schemes to restore a major asset for recreation and nature conservation.
Members of the Trust receive, as well as the satisfaction of being part of a worthwhile project, a quarterly magazine Wey-South. In addition, a monthly newsletter, Working Party News is available to volunteers on working parties.