A section of the Buckingham has been restored and is a great place to visit.
Current status – Bourton Meadow has been rewatered!
The site was rewatered in August 2013 and continues to be maintained in line with the ecological recommendations of the environmental report.
It had always been identified as a priority for re-watering and in preparation for that an ecological study was undertaken in 2011 funded by a grant from Luton and Bedfordshire Community Foundation. This was an essential precursor to a planning application for re-lining, re-watering and environmental enhancement of the site.A planning application was approved in April 2012 enabling the work which involved re-profiling the canal to a navigable depth, lining it with a waterproof material, reinforcing the water margins with “soft” edging of coir rolls to encourage aquatic habitats and improving the hedges on either side of the canal. Grants were awarded from WREN and AVCC enabling the work to be undertaken.
BCS activity – This section of 400m has been re-lined and is fully in water. With the landowner’s permission and co-operation the Society has been given access to this length. Volunteers have cleared undergrowth and brush so that the line is fully visible and the tow-path fully functional. In 2004 a spill-weir, which will permit excess water to run off down to the adjacent River Great Ouse, was rebuilt. The site has been regularly maintained since then and an interpretation board was sited at the Buckingham end in 2008.
History – This section became silted in the late 19th Century due both to leakage and its use as Buckingham’s sewage outlet. This was, therefore, one of the first sections of the canal to run dry and saw its last boat around 1900.
Location – Just outside the Buckingham ring road lies a section of canal known as Bourton Meadow. This is readily accessible via the former towpath which is now part of the Ouse Valley Way.
The Buckingham Canal Society (BCS) would like to see the canal re-opened, using the original line wherever possible. The restoration of the canal would bring new life, new recreational opportunities and new, environmentally-friendly businesses to the countryside and towns between Cosgrove and Buckingham. Restoration projects elsewhere in the UK have overcome much greater obstacles than any found on the line of the Buckingham Canal. The Society recognises that restoration is a long-term project which will involve major investment but when the canal is restored it will bring considerable benefits to the areas through which the restored canal passes.