VOLUNTEERS restoring the Montgomery Canal near Oswestry will double their efforts to 'make up for lost time' because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Work has recommenced on the restoration of the 330 metre dry section of the waterway at Crickheath.

The two weekend sessions, each of three days, experienced a dramatic contrast in climatic conditions. The first, early in July was punctuated by torrential downpours, with the second played out in scorching temperatures.

In spite of these constraints significant progress was achieved.

A spokesman for the Shropshire Union Canal volunteers said continuing the work was 'no mean feat'.

They said: "The last section of canal bank subsidence, was finally built up, one metre above the actual height to allow for one hundred bulk containers, which will be filled with 1,000 litres of water, to be placed there to compress the area for a period of six months.

"The movement of the empty vessels over a distance of 200 metres, by a resilient group of hero's, was no mean feat, in the prevailing scorching temperatures.”

They explained that earth will be used to narrow the distance between the towpath and the offside bank, adding: “"This will be an on-going procedure for a number of subsequent work parties.

"To compensate for time lost due to Covid restrictions, there are now two work parties per month until Christmas.

"New volunteers are always welcome.

"Interested parties should contact the Shropshire Union Canal website for details."