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County councillor to officially open the Shalford Information Point

The Wey & Arun Canal Trust’s latest project in Surrey, the Shalford Information Point in Hunt Nature Park, will be officially opened by Matt Furniss, Cabinet Member for Transport and Infrastructure, at a special ceremony on September 18 (for details click here).

The Surrey County Councillor for Shalford will cut the ribbon on the wheelchair-accessible information centre, boardwalk and viewing platform, which has been constructed by volunteers and contractors over the course of the past year. 

The cedar centre sits on nine concrete pillars and has been specially designed to cope with flooding that can occur in the nature reserve, with the path and viewing platform made from toxin-free industrial recycled plastic, which is not only sustainable but rivals wood, concrete and steel in strength and durability and is resistant to water.

The centre will play a key role in informing the public about the canal’s history and the Trust’s restoration achievements, as well as plans for Bramley and the northern end of the canal. It is hoped to offer guided walks from the information point as well as educational visits for schools.

The project was helped by a legacy from long-time supporter David Hodgkinson, who sadly died in July 2020. He was a civil engineer by training and was Chairman of Inland Waterways Association’s Kent & East Sussex branch until he emigrated to Florida in 2005. A plaque has been installed at the site in his memory.

Volunteers got a glimpse inside the new centre earlier this week at a special preview event, with Chairman Sally Schupke on hand to explain how it had been built and the Trust's plans for the area.

Gill Davies
Friday, August 20, 2021
  • Matt Furniss will officially open the new Shalford Information Point.
  • The new centre and wheelchair friendly boardwalk (Photo by Roger Beazer).
  • Volunteers were able to buy merchandise and see inside the centre at an event earlier this week (Photo by Julian Nowell).