A sixty mile stretch of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal has been closed to by British Waterways because of a shortage of water, in spite of recent rain.
The closure is between Lock 30 (Holme Bridge) at Gargrave and Lock 85 in Wigan. The lock flights affected are the Gargrave, Bank Newton, Greenberfield, Barrowford, Blackburn, Johnson's Hillock and Wigan.
All the locks along this stretch of canal will be closed, with locks padlocked and stop planks in place above the top lock of each flight.
The stop planks will help to reduce water loss from the long pounds above each flight to maintain levels for moored boats and protect the aquatic ecology but BW warns that some water will naturally drain from the canal once the feed from the reservoirs is no longer in place and that people with boats moored along the canal should regularly monitor and adjust mooring ropes.
British Waterways says that the seven reservoirs that feed the central section of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal are down to around 10% of capacity. BW will consider re-opening the canal in stages once reservoir levels reach 20% again.
The remainder of the canal is supplemented by local river feeds so it at less risk, although the previous restrictions will continue to apply to those sections after August 2nd.
Update: 9th August
The canal remains closed between Lock 30 (Holme Bridge) at Gargrave and Lock 85 in Wigan.
Holme Bridge Lock at Gargrave