Shop front in the summer

Monday, 13 February 2012

Hanging around

Hire boaters and share boaters heading out from Norbury for a couple of weeks will often head north to try the Cheshire ring, passing through Manchester.

One of the highlights is the Marple Aqueduct – a Grade One listed structure that carries the Peak Forest Canal as it links with the Huddersfield Narrow and the Ashton and on into central Manchester – and now you might to get to see more of it than in the past.

Specialist contractors with a head for heights are helping the aqueduct to shrug off the trees, bushes and clinging ivy that have obscured it from view.

They will abseil around 100 feet from the Marple Aqueduct – also known as the Grand Aqueduct - to carefully remove years of vegetation which has taken hold and has been undermining the structure’s masonry.

Marple Aqueduct is an impressive feature of the Peak Forest and is also designated as a Scheduled Ancient Monument site. It carries the canal high above the River Goyt, on three stone arches and was built between 1794 -1801.

British Waterways’ national vegetation contractors will be carrying out the works which will take up to one week to complete.

Mark Ashton, contracts manager, British Waterways, said: “It will be a rare opportunity to watch the contractors hanging over this magnificent aqueduct to remove the overgrown vegetation which has built up over several years.

“The work that we are doing today will be the first step in safeguarding this important piece of local and national heritage for generations to come and visually it will make a huge difference to its overall appearance.”

An application to Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to carry our further works to underpin the structural integrity of the aqueduct is being considered in the near future.

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