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Fund-raising drive to bring back horse-drawn boats

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An appeal launched by the Friends of Cromford Canal, Derbyshire, hopes to see horse-drawn boat trips return to the canal by next spring.

Vintage horse-drawn boats have been absent from the canal for 24-years, but the funding needed to create a horse-ready one-mile canal stretch is being gathered from various sources. Horse-drawn canal boat trips will then run between Cromford Wharf and Leawood Pumphouse – the trips were very popular when they ran in the 70s and 80s.

Actor Brian Blessed has spearheaded the Friends of Cromford Canal campaign to raise £50,000 – the total currently stands at £13,000 raised. Derbyshire County Council is planning to dredge the canal at a cost of £300,000. Reports also suggest that the Rural Development Programme for England are considering funding 40% of the project.

The long-term plan of the Friends of Cromford Canal is to make 17-miles of waterway accessible for horse-drawn boats. It is estimated this project would cost £44m, and take between 30 and 50 years.

Picture courtesy of Dave Goodman


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