At Tickner’s Heath, where the route of the canal is blocked by the causeway which carries Dunsfold Road, there is a particularly difficult restoration challenge. The road has sharp bends, there is residential property very close by, the canal water level is only a foot or so below the road and the whole area is within designated Common Land which has very strict rules for any works taking place within it.
The Trust looked at several options before deciding that the best way to overcome this obstruction is to avoid it altogether by building a new bridge to take Dunsfold Road over the canal a couple of hundred yards east of the original crossing point. The new bridge will be within the width of the existing highway so a short length of temporary road will be built to take traffic around the bridge site. With the bridge in place and the road reopened to traffic, a new canal cut some 200yards long will be excavated below the bridge and will then curve around to rejoin the original canal to the west of the old crossing. The road itself will remain on the causeway as it is now. As the road over the new bridge will be no wider than the existing road, a separate, parallel bridge will be provided for the use of pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.
The last 100 yards of the existing canal as it runs towards the road from east will become redundant. This will be partially filled (with clay excavated from the new cut) and will be landscaped with areas of wetland and replacement tree planting.
Planning permission was granted in January 2020 and Common Land Consent in July 2020. An area of the adjacent agricultural field will be used for the construction compound. Work will get underway in autumn 2020 with the whole project expected to take two or three years to complete.
Our current restoration project is only the first stage. When we do the second stage is yet to be decided.
The links below are to drawings showing the proposed stages of the project.