Fish who live in the Leeds & Liverpool Canal are being temporarily rehomed ahead of major repair work at Finsley Gate.
A team of fisheries experts are currently braving the cold water to remove species such as roach, perch, eels, chub and bream.
The fish will then be safely rehomed in another section of the canal. Following this, millions of litres of water will be drained from the canal enabling us to repair a section of the canal bed at Finsley Gate, between Manchester Road bridge 130b and Sandholme Aqueduct.
The project is costing approximately £1.2m and will involve the re-lining of a 140-metre section of the canal bed which will protect the 200-year old canal from leaking. Other improvements to the wash wall and towpath will also be done at the same time. The work is expected to be completed by March 2019.
Linda Milton, project manager at the Canal & River Trust, says: “This work is really important as we will be repairing the canal bed and at the same stabilising the embankment. To enable us to do this we will need to transfer millions of litres of water from the canal, moving hundreds of fish to another section of the canal in the process.
“The Leeds & Liverpool Canal is unique built as the longest single waterway in Britain. Crossing over the Pennines it weaves it way through beautiful towns and villages. In Burnley, it provided a link to Liverpool that was to transform Burnley’s fortunes and by the turn of the twentieth century Burnley had become a global leader in cotton production with over 100,000 looms at work.
“Today the canal has reinvented itself as a leisure destination and a haven for wildlife. Modern canals offer an amazing, tranquil space, where everything slows down – a great place to escape the pressures of modern life.
“We know from research that people are happier and more relaxed when they’re by water, and activities such as walking, cycling, boating, fishing, canoeing and paddle boarding improve people’s mental and physical well-being.”