Penelope Keith to open new canal bridge

A family group of walkers posing for a photograph as they make their way back to Loxwood during the Wey & Arun Canal Trust's 2016 sponsored walk, the Poddle
A family group of walkers posing for a photograph as they make their way back to Loxwood during the Wey & Arun Canal Trust's 2016 sponsored walk, the Poddle
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Walkers have raised around £10,000 towards the restoration of an historic waterway.

Their pleasant sponsored stroll in the country has boosted the work of the Wey and Arun Canal Trust, which is currently completing its first major project in Surrey.

The money was amassed by the 157 people who took part in the charity’s annual Poddle walk in June.

The fundraisers set off from North Hall in Loxwood to follow an 11-mile route with the new Compasses Bridge on the canal at Alfold as halfway point.

After viewing the work in progress at the bridge and lunch at the nearby Three Compasses pub, they returned to the start point via paths across Surrey and Sussex farmland.

Organiser Margaret Darvill said: “The proceeds are a fantastic result for our restoration fund. With Gift Aid added, we have raised just on £10,000 from the sponsors.

“My grateful thanks go to all those who helped me with organising the Poddle, both before the day and on the day and, of course, to our magnificent collection of walkers.”

The trust has started a final push appeal for £120,000 to finish the Compasses Bridge project, which is its largest restoration scheme so far in Surrey.

The bridge, at one of the entrances to the Dunsfold Park aerodrome and business complex, has replaced a 1930s concrete causeway.

Members of the public are invited to watch Dame Penelope Keith officially open the bridge at midday on Sunday, October 2, as part of celebrations marking the Wey and Arun Canal’s bicentenary.

Donations to the appeal can be made via www.weyandarun.co.uk or by sending a cheque made out to the Wey & Arun Canal Trust to Compasses Appeal, WACT Northern Office, Bridge End, Somerswey, Shalford, Guildford, Surrey GU4 8EQ.

The trust asks that eligible donors Gift Aid the money they give, which adds 25p from the Government to every £1. Declaration forms available via the website if required.

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