.Welcome to the home page of one of the newest waterway restoration charities in England and Wales – formed (as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation) on 11 September 2017 when the Charity Commission approved our constitution and emailed us our Registered Charity number.
We are a companion organisation which works alongside the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust – that’s a charity which was established (under another name) over 40 years ago.
We intend to do the things that the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust aren’t doing – very much a complementary approach working on the parts they are not working on.
There’s about 70 miles of waterway to work on, and until it’s all done there won’t be the full extent of the public benefits which both organisations exist to deliver. There will be short term ‘incidental’ benefits, but the big benefits come from a sustainable and through-connected operational waterway. Strictly it’s two waterways – the main line of the Wilts & Berks Canal (mostly on the route of the historic canal) from the Kennet and Avon Canal near Melksham to the River Thames near Abingdon, plus the North Wilts Canal (mostly on the historic route) from near Cricklade to Swindon.
There are other organisations involved in the restoration project already – the members of the Wiltshire, Swindon and Oxfordshire Canal Partnership. We have now joined the Partnership. One of our founding Trustees attended the Partnership meeting on 2nd March 2023.
Last year the Thames Bridges Trek 2021, through London and crossing 16 bridges over the Thames, was held on the 5th birthday of Wessex Waterways. This was a co-incidence of course, but Luke did lots of training to ensure he was fit to complete the 16 miles (25km) of walking. In 2022, like the previous year, two of Luke’s friends from Ampthill in Bedfordshire spent the day in London so they could be there to check his progress, to offer encouragement, and to take the necessary photos for the website. Last year’s total of sponsorship (before Gift Aid was added) was almost £900 – a significant part of the Trust’s total income for the year. Luke is hoping to beat that total in 2022, and we in the Trust would be very grateful for the funds which help us to continue our work. Making a donation is easy – there is a donate button below which will take you to the Charities Aid Foundation website which has all the necessary screens and buttons and fields to make an on-line donation. Please do.