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. The Trust has reached agreement with landowners that restoration work could take place on over half the 23-mile total length. Already, twenty one bridges have been reconstructed, two aqueducts reconstructed, eleven locks restored, culverts rebuilt and several miles of canal bed cleared and dredged. Work has been carried out in the Bramley, Run Common, Loxwood. Billingshurst and Pulborough areas.
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.
Small-scale Manpower Services Commission schemes under the Youth Opportunities and Community Programmes have also made a valuable labour contribution to work on some canal structures. 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 mainly from sponsored events, recycling of waste paper and materials, lotteries and donations.
Full restoration involves the solution of many problems which the Trust would be the last to underestimate. More landowners need to be won over, water supply problems need to be overcome, local authorities need to be persuaded of the benefits to justify expenditure on raising road bridges etc.
The Trust has prepared a full feasibility study and commissioned an independent cost/benefit analysis which gives it confidence that the obstacles can be overcome, as they have been already on canal restoration schemes elsewhere.
Fully restored, the Wey and 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.
To join the Trust, please download the Membership Application form below. Please also complete the Gift Aid section where applicable. Then post it, with your cheque or Bankers Order, to:
Note: If you wish to pay by Standing Order, please download that as wellMembership Application form
Note: If you wish to pay by Standing Order, which qualifies for a free copy of the booklet 'Wey-South Path', please complete the Standing Order section and return with your Membership Application.
Donations by US Citizens
US residents who would like to support the restoration of the historic Wey & Arun Canal may prefer to use Charities Aid Foundation (CAF America) through which to channel their donations. WACT has been determined by CAF Eligibility Committee as eligible to receive grants. A CAF America form in PDF format may be downloaded from here.
Donations to the Trust via CAF may also be made on-line by following this linkwww.cafonline.org and enter the key words "wey" "arun" "canal"