Canal Restoration in Hereford

Route of the Canal into Hereford City

From the north, the historic line of the Canal runs parallel to the Sutton St Nicholas Road and passes under the A4103 Roman Road (where the former Hereford & Worcester County Council built a new bridge for the Canal in 1995) and then continues westwards to the Aylestone Park Project Site.  Here, a section of the canal channel has been restored, a boat launching slipway and an overspill weir constructed, and a series of paths alongside the canal created.

After a short infilled section through Holmer Trading Estate, Aylestone Tunnel takes the Canal under the main Newport to Shrewsbury/Worcester railway line and an area of high ground.

Emerging from the tunnel, much of the original canal line has been lost beneath industrial development and a new canal channel will need to deviate along a former railway siding to avoid a large factory, and then to pass around the Widemarsh Retail Park (where a new footbridge and new road bridge were built to accommodate the future line of the Canal in 2000).

The historic line is regained just before the Burcott Road site, Widemarsh Canal bridge is next and then a point is reached where continuation to the site of the original terminus basin has been blocked by the link road constructed in 2018.

Notwithstanding this, it is hoped that a new basin can be constructed at an alternative location alongside the link road.

Aylestone Park

Nearest postcode: HR1 1JJ

OS Grid Ref: SO 52132 41782

What3Words: ///legend.recall.gossip

Widemarsh Retail Park

Nearest postcode: HR4 9LQ

OS Grid Ref: SO 51015 40951

What3Words: ///putty.starts.apples

Link Road

Nearest postcode: HR4 9JP

OS Grid Ref: SO 51261 40632

What3Words: ///tunes.towers.tamed

Aylestone Park – A quick summary……

Canal restoration by the Trust in Hereford began in earnest in August 2002 following the acquisition of the Aylestone Park site by Herefordshire Council, and the formation of a partnership between the Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal Trust, Herefordshire Council and The Aylestone Park Association.

The plan was to develop the site to provide much needed sports and recreational facilities, and to restore the quarter mile section of the canal running along the northern boundary of the park.

More on this here…

Holmer Industrial Estate

February 2016 – The Holmer Trading Estate Scheme: Developers to Restore Canal

A number of times over recent years we have reported the granting on planning permission in 2010 for the redevelopment of the Holmer Trading Estate in Hereford, including the restoration of one of the most difficult sections of the H&G Canal as an integral part of the proposals. Due to market conditions and economic considerations the previous developer did not implement the various approvals.

The H&G Canal runs along the edge of the Holmer Trading Estate in a cutting on the approach to Aylestone Tunnel. The ¼ mile long Tunnel was found to be in remarkably good condition during a specialist full diving survey in 1995. However, the ¼ mile length of deep approach cutting is fully infilled with tipped industrial waste which requires specialist disposal. It will be one of the most expensive short sections of the H&G Canal to restore.

The clear vision of the Council to see the Canal restored is greatly welcomed and shows fantastic support for the huge voluntary effort along the Canal to date. We also welcome being able to work with developers from the outset of schemes and these proposals will make a huge improvement to the area.

Hereford Retail Park

Here the Canal corridor takes a detour from its historical line and a channel around the car park of the retail park marks the new route.

The Burcott Road Site

Canal Trust Members may well recall that we own a section of the Canal line behind the new houses on Newtown Road running adjacent to Burcott Road, Hereford. This was secured as part of that housing development, and in 2010 we undertook some initial clearance there to tidy things up.

At the time we acquired the site there was a compound at each end, one by Widemarsh Canal Bridge and the other at the opposite end by the entrance to Tudors, just short of the new Farrier Way Canal Bridge that was built as part of the Hereford Retail Park development. These two sections were owned by Herefordshire Council and had various temporary structures on them and a right of way between them over our section of Canal.

As part of the developer contribution to the Canal on Newtown Road site the tenants of these compounds were relocated so that the sites could be cleared over the last couple of years prior to their transfer to us.

Herefordshire Council transferred both of these blocks of land to the Canal Trust, so that we now have a deliverable section of Canal within the City Centre.

Discussions with the Council about the restoration of this section continue– watch this space …

From Widemarsh Bridge behind the old and new houses on Newtown Road…

… a corridor of land has been cleared along the original line of the Canal.

Dr Robin Andrews, Chairman of the Trust at that time, and the Mayor of Hereford.
He said, “With the upsurge in industrial archaelogy, now may be a timely moment to reassess the remnants of the old Hereford and Gloucester Canal.”

Hereford Basin

The western end of the canal including its former terminus basin at Canal Street has all been lost beneath industrial development.  Plans to create a new canal basin as part old the Cattle Market development (Edgar Street Grid) failed to materialise and access to the original basin site was cut off by the link road past the railway station. 

However,  plans for a new terminal basin next to Widemarsh Brook are being considered.  

More on the Route into Hereford…