Oakham Canal Green Corridor
MOWS are working with a number of stakeholders to create a linear heritage, environment and leisure facility to the north of Oakham, based around the former Oakham Canal. This Green Corridor will:
- Serve to protect the original course of the Oakham Canal in the landscape as a recognised heritage asset.
- Incorporate, protect, and enhance, a diverse range of wildlife habitats. The water bodies, woodlands, grasslands and hedgerows would provide a sanctuary for a wide range of plants and small animals.
- Create a continuous public right of way between Oakham and Rocks by Rail, enhancing accessibility to the visitor attraction, and significantly improving countryside access to the north of Oakham which is currently limited. Wherever possible, accessible footpaths would be provided.
- Incorporate, and provide improved links to, existing public rights of way.
- Provide opportunities for a range of leisure activities, in a coherent linear park setting.
- Increase public interest in, and awareness of, the Oakham Canal.
- Allow the possible reconstruction of Cottesmore Wharf, adjacent to Rocks by Rail, to provide a heritage / visitor centre for learning opportunities about the canal and its history, as well as the environment and ecology that the Green Corridor provides.
- Provide opportunities for community engagement and skills development through volunteer projects for the preservation of the heritage features of the Oakham Canal, as well as other environmental and conservation projects.
- Allow interpretation to be provided for areas of special heritage, environmental or ecological interest.
- Offer the opportunity, through extension of the concept northwards, to create a long distance right of way towards Melton Mowbray and onwards into the Wreake valley.
Rocks by Rail, Ashwell
MOWS have been working with Rocks by Rail to develop plans to:
- Improve access to, and the condition of, the canal.
- Clear / restore part of the original towpath to the south of the site.
- Provide interpretation signage.
Pile Bridge Farm, Saxby
Owners, Sue and Mark, have a smallholding at Pile Bridge Farm near Whissendine which incorporates a horse breeding and schooling facility. It also contains another feature – part of the Oakham Canal – and somewhere buried under their land are the remains of two locks.
A preliminary excavation in 2016 discovered two brick lock edges. At 14’4″ apart these conform to the exact width of a double lock. Further examination found the gate recess and allowed us to estimate the closed position of the gates. Our team also found the gate paddle hole and the possible remains of a brick arched bridge across the lock chamber. A further dig is planned for the summer of 2017.