Newport City Council to clear weed from the canal

We have regular meetings with Newport City Council where we are able to support Newport City Council with advice and guidance and they are able to share their projects and work programme on the canal with us.

The overgrown Mon & Brec Canal at Bettws Aug 2023, copyright Tania Dando
The overgrown Mon & Brec Canal at Bettws Aug 2023, copyright Tania Dando

The Council have shared with us that they intend to remove as much weed as possible from the navigation of the canal sometime during the forthcoming Autumn / Winter. They are currently exploring options for suitably qualified contractors to do this sensitive work.

The work will cover the section of the canal from the bottom of the Fourteen Locks (Cefn) lock flight where the canal goes under the M4, to Barrack Hill tunnel, and then north from Brynglas up to the City boundary in north Malpas. The work won’t cover the Fourteen Locks flight as the flight of locks is dry of water. The work also won’t cover the section north of our Fourteen Locks Canal Centre in Rogerstone to Harry Robert’s bridge. This section of the canal will be cleared as part of the £1.9m project that Newport City Council announced in May 2023.

The work will concentrate on removing weed from the water of the navigation itself. A separate piece of work will happen sometime in September / October to cut the vegetation growth between the towpath and the canal.

The work will be done in several phases – firstly weed will be removed by a specialist machine working from the towpath. This will use different machine heads to cut and remove the weed. This is a delicate operation as it is important that the bed of the canal isn’t ruptured causing a leak. The vegetation will then be left on the canal bank for several weeks to allow any wildlife to move back to the canal. The weed and vegetation will then be removed by the Council. All work has to be planned by a Newport Council ecologist to ensure that wildlife isn’t disrupted. Overall the work will take several weeks.

We compliment Newport City Council on this planned work. Restoration of sections of the canal means that regular maintenance then has to be done to ensure that the canal doesn’t revert back to its previous state. This piece of work is a significant effort by the Council to keep the canal in water and free of weed and other vegetation.

We will update in the future when we know when the work will start.