The ultimate aim is the regeneration of the canal from Swansea to the river Neath at Aberdulais. There’s a lot of work to do.
Video credit Alexander James at SLAM drones
Keeping the canal supplied with water. With no water supply from the river Neath the Canal water level drops dramatically in dry periods, exposing the banks, impacting wildlife, and resulting in rapid deterioration of the Canal. From the time the weir was breached until March 2021 the water was maintained by the use of pumps, extracting water from the rivers. The pumping was funded by the sale of water to Calon Energy. Following the closure of the energy plant pumping ceased, and the pumps were removed.
The Canal owners have no commercial business to support further pumping. Failure to resolve the water supply will result in long-term damage if not a total failure of the canal, which is a very significant asset, and one which needs protection. This Canal proves very real benefits to the local people, and the benefits to physical and mental health due to walking, kayaking etc. are well documented.
The canal also includes CADW grade II listed structures, all of which are part of NPT heritage that must not be lost.
The Canal was fed with water from the confluence of the Rivers Neath & Dulais, and a purpose-built weir was constructed at the same time as the canal to maintain a head of water and allow it into the Canal at Aberdulais. This functioned without issue until The Environment Agency (Wales) decided to install a Fish Pass alongside the weir for migratory fish. This work may have contributed to the loss of structural integrity (in place since 1751), and in 2015 a section of it was washed away.
Since that time no water has entered the canal by this means.
Communities have lived, worked and enjoyed the beauty and tranquillity of the canal since it was built. We must ensure it is not allowed decline and ultimately restore it to full use. By becoming a member of the Tennant Canal Association, you can personally help to restore it for generations to come.
There’s something about being in nature and close to water away from urban areas. It’s literally a breath of fresh air. Why should people be stressed out on their way to work each morning when they could be walking or cycling along the canal. Active travel is something that’s being promoted by government and local authorities to reduce carbon emissions and improve quality of life at the same time. It’s a win win.
Then, after work or at the weekend you could do something you’ve never done before like take a paddle in a canoe or kayak and experience a new kind of slow travel that allows you to take in everything around you in a completely new way or just walk the dog on a decent path along a canal in good condition rather than something that you worry could go to wrack and ruin unless a few simple steps are taken.
How about fishing rights? We plan to explore the option of getting the necessary permissions and public liability insurance to sell licenses or perhaps include them in your annual membership.