A 'SURPRISINGLY' prolific week of work has been celebrated by volunteers helping to restore the Montgomery Canal near Crickheath.

The Shropshire Union Canal Volunteers continued the fortnightly programme of restoration towards the end of June, with support from design consultants, Arcadis, who boosted the work force numbers,.

This allowed them to which laid the foundation for a 'surprisingly, prolific weekend' session, which added another 40 metres of lined channel, to that already completed, with around 4,000 blocks were used.

A spokesman for the volunteers said: "As part of the Restoration activity, a length of channel is lined with a ‘sandwich’ of four layers of waterproofing materials.

"It is then ‘paved’ with building blocks to weight them down.

"These layers are put down as huge overlapping blankets which are six metres wide and stretch, 14 metres, from the towpath, down, and across the channel, to the top of the offside bank.

"There are still another 160 metres to do, to complete the section under restoration, but given recent progress, the end of August could still see the completion of the lining process, then all efforts will be directed toward surfacing the 330 metres of accompanying towpath.

"The machine based work continued with channel shaping next to Crickheath Basin.

"It is expected to see this section filled and water-tested before Christmas, with the official opening taking place next year."

The spokesman said work is set to push on.

They added: "Advanced planning is taking place, for our next project beyond Crickheath Bridge which will begin in 2023.

"Further on down the canal toward Llanymynech, the Restore Group is continuing preparation for the re-construction of Schoolhouse Bridge which is, hopefully, due to begin next year.

"Beyond this in Powys, Government funding is in place for Restoration from Llanymynech to Maerdy, which, hopefully will begin later this year."