Of all the canals of the Shropshire Union that were abandoned by the 1944 Act only the Shrewsbury & Newport is not either fully open or under very active restoration.

The Trust was formed in October 2000 in the belief that it is not too late to save the Shrewsbury & Newport Canals. Very little of the line of the canals has been built on and no insuperable engineering problems lie in the way of restoration.  To see the minutes of the inaugural meeting please click here.

Aims of the Trust

To protect, conserve and improve the route of the Shrewsbury and Newport canals, and branches, for the benefit of the community and the environment, with the ultimate goal of restoring a continuous navigable waterway linking Norbury Junction to Shrewsbury.

  • to convince local authorities, government departments and local organisations of the benefits and feasibility of the proposed restoration
  • to convince landowners, local commerce and the general public of the merits of restoration
  • to secure the route of the waterway and adequate water supplies
  • to develop partnerships with local authorities and other bodies that will facilitate restoration of the canals
  • to implement an agreed programme for full restoration of the canal

If you would like to support these aims please become a member.  For more information on the Trust, please download a copy of the Memorandum & Articles of Association of the Trust.

Background

When a number of canal enthusiasts got together in 1968 to form the Shropshire Union Canal Society their immediate aim was to protect the Shrewsbury & Newport canals, which although legally abandoned for over 20 years were still largely intact, from impending piecemeal sale.  This it was felt would inevitably mean that parts of the canals would be filled in and structures destroyed and that any hope of restoring them to navigation would be gone for ever.

At that time the expansion of the navigable canal network was not a popular concept and in their aim they were unsuccessful.  Their fears appeared to be justified.  The Society moved its prime concern to other parts of the Shropshire Union system, notably the Montgomery Canal, whilst much of route of the canal from Norbury Junction to Shrewsbury was sold off to neighbouring landowners.

Despite the ravages of nature and of man on the canal over the intervening years very little, apart from in Shrewsbury, has been built on the line of the canal.  It is not too late to restore navigation into the heart of Shropshire.  In other parts of the country communities have seen the benefits to be gained from canal restoration, in many cases of canals that have been abandoned for far longer than the Shrewsbury & Newport.  Many have gone through the stage of looking like they were attempting the impossible. But they are now close to achieving that "impossible dream" and with the Shrewsbury & Newport Canals we could be doing the same. This will be a long-term project which will involve major investment but would bring new life, new recreational opportunities and new, environment-friendly business to the countryside, towns and villages between Norbury Junction and Shrewsbury.

To promote restoration The Shrewsbury & Newport Canals Trust was formed in 2000 to which interested parties and individuals can belong in order to demonstrate commitment and work together to ensure that the Shrewsbury & Newport Canals are no longer just a dotted line on a map but a living and vibrant waterway for the 21st Century.

Local Support Groups

The Trust has three local support groups who watch over the Trusts interests in their area, organise fund raising events and arrange work parties.  Beyond the A41 to Norbury Junction the independent Norbury to Newport CIC works closely with the Trust.  Each group has its own contact details and holds their own events and work parties.  For more information on these please go to the Local Support Groups page.

  • Newport Support Group, Chair Steve Jones, work parties are 1st Saturday of each month from 1000 until 1600.
  • Shrewsbury Support Group, Chair Alan Wilding, work parties are Last Saturday of each month from 1000 until 1600.
  • Telford Support Group, Chair Alan Harding, work parties are 3rd Saturday of each month from 1000 until 1600.