New boat arrives at Cromford Wharf

At the tiller...Councillor Andy Botham, right, and Friends of Cromford Canal's Mike Kelley aboard 'Birdswood'
At the tiller...Councillor Andy Botham, right, and Friends of Cromford Canal's Mike Kelley aboard 'Birdswood'
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People will soon be able to take a boat trip along Cromford Canal, following the arrival of a brand-new vessel this weekend.

An electrically-powered canal boat, called the Birdswood, arrived at Cromford Wharf on Saturday morning amid much excitement from Friends of Cromford Canal and members of the public.

It is anticipated that visitor trips will start running later this summer, once crews have been trained.

Chairman of the Friends of Cromford Canal, Matthew Rogers, said: “This is a really an exciting time and we cannot wait until we an start providing boat trips again.

“Hopefully, this boat trips will play a role in attracting and retaining both existing and new visitors to the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.”

Work to dredge the 1.3 mile section of the canal from Cromford Wharf to Leawood Pumphouse began in March. The work was carried out by Derbyshire County Council.

Material such as decomposing plants and soil particles, which get washed into the canal over time, were removed to make the water deeper – allowing a boat to complete the full stretch.

Cllr Andy Botham, who represents Matlock on Derbyshire County Council, said: “Tourism is an important part of the local economy and it will be great to see the boat arrive. The boat trips will offer another attraction to draw people to this part of Derbyshire, which will benefit many other local businesses.”