Walks set to explore the history of canal

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Historic locations on a 19th Century canal route will be explored during two guided walks over the 2016 Heritage Open Days weekend next month.

The Wey & Arun Canal Trust, based in Loxwood, is inviting members of the public to join strolls along sections of the original canal route, on two stretches of the former Guildford to Horsham railway line.

“These are opportunities for people to hear about what we are doing to bring the canal in Surrey back to life, as well as enjoy pleasant and interesting excursions in the countryside,” said Trust chairman Sally Schupke.

The first walk is on Saturday September 10, meeting at 2.30pm in the car park of Shamley Green Church, Church Hill, Shamley Green, Surrey GU4 0UD.

Led by the Trust’s technical liaison officer, Alan Johnson, it will follow a four-mile circular route to visit four sites containing relics of the canal and the Horsham to Guildford railway, including three iron-framed bridges.

On Sunday September 11, walkers will meet at 2.30pm at the Gunpowder Store, Stonebridge Wharf, on the River Wey at Shalford.

With Trust publicity officer Rob Searle, they will explore parts of the canal route down to the former Bramley Wharf, off Station Road in Bramley.

This 1½ mile stroll, taking approximately two hours, will take in the Tannery Lane roving bridge and the sites of the Tannery Lane Lock and the unique Gosden Aqueduct.

It is also an opportunity to explore the new Hunt Nature Park and its viewing platform, which have created by Trust volunteers.

The Gunpowder Store held the products of Chilworth Gunpowder Mills before they were sent off by barge to London via the rivers Wey and Thames and to the South Coast on the Wet & Arun Canal.

Parking for walkers is available at Broadford Business Park, Shalford GU4 8EP, behind the Parrot Inn on the A248.

Most of the walk routes are not on metalled surfaces, so it will be essential to wear walking boots, stout shoes or trainers.

The events are free, but donations to the Trust will be welcome.

Booking is essential, by e-mail to events@weyandarun.co.uk or by calling 01483 505566, by Thursday September 8.

For more information on the Wey & Arun Canal Trust, which aims to restore the Wey and Arun Canal back to navigation, visit www.weyandarun.co.uk