Sports challenge raises £3,600 for Wilts & Berks Canal

Fit fundraisers took part in a sports challenge to raise £3,600 for the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust.

The first Wichelstowe Games were held on at the end of August on the southern edge of Swindon, where a short stretch of the waterway has already been restored.

Organised by the new Hall & Woodhouse pub adjacent to the canal, teams competed across four events – cycling, climbing, canoeing and a tug-of-war.

The money raised will support the construction of a new slipway providing safe access into the water near Beavans Bridge.

Tessa Lanstein is the head of projects and a member of the executive committee for the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust.

She said:

“We are sincerely grateful for being chosen as the first beneficiary of the inaugural Wichelstowe Games and we’re delighted it was such a success.

“The canal is already proving to be a major asset for the local community and this event has provided much-needed funds to continue its restoration, ultimately providing a vital new source of employment, leisure and tourism, as well as a new wildlife corridor.”

The event was the brainchild of Karl Drew, general manager of the Hall & Woodhouse pub, he said:

“We wanted to arrange a fun event to give something back to the local community and were delighted to support the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust at our first games.

“We’re lucky to have such a beautiful waterway on our doorstep and look forward to the day when it’s fully restored, providing a new tourist attraction which will boost the local economy.”

The aim of the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust is to restore the waterway from the Kennet & Avon Canal near Melksham to the Thames & Severn Canal near Cricklade and the River Thames near Abingdon, connecting Chippenham, Calne, Royal Wootton Bassett and Swindon.

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