A waterway in the making
Sunday 25th March 2012
In October 1811 a group of businessmen met in
Roll forward two hundred years and talk of boating between Bedford and the Grand Union is very much back in the public arena. The Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway grew out of an idea in 1994 – and now the designated route through two counties is protected, and bit by bit plans are being laid to bring the vision to reality.
On Sunday the Captain, Boatwif and a local canal-minded friend joined about fifty other curious folk for a guided walk, the purpose to trace the intended canal route as it skirts close to Wootton, a village south west of
What new information did walkers glean about the project?
· The area being prepared as a light industry park on the edge of Wootton will be built with connected lakes, eventually forming between one and two kilometres of waterway.
· Digging out the above lakes should be started in 2013.
· Developers, Persimmon in Wootton, and another developer building behind
· About a dozen locks are envisaged to take the waterway up to the
· The underpass will bring the waterway from the eastern end of
· Whether the route through the Forest Centre territory will use the lake (shared by sailors and water-skiers) or a cut alongside has yet to be decided.
· A B&MK Waterway trip boat is planned; it will run on the Great Ouse from
Informing the public and B&MK Trust members of the latest developments is important: the next Talks Evening will be held between at
In the heart of Berry Wood, beside a dipping pond, the guided walk ended. Shorter distance participants headed back to a Black Horse lunch while sturdier types continued westwards towards Wootton Green, past a garden harbouring several Shetland ponies, along a lane, through a horse-occupied field, past the WI Centenary Copse, towards the church and the village centre.
It might be twenty five years before we can float past Wootton in a boat: family members and relief crews prepare to winch us on board… But what’s really important is that the vision to create the Bedford and Milton Keynes Waterway is kept alive and the project supported in every way possible . To find out more go to: Bedford Milton Keynes Waterway Trust .
(*underpass correctly identified by us just a year ago… boatwif-turns-detective )