Welcome to Save the Tennant Canal Website.

This website has been built to bring public awareness to the serious water supply problems threatening the future of the Historic Tennant Canal in South Wales. (pictures taken in Summer 2021)

The Tennant Canal has been fed from a weir located at the Rivers Neath and Dulais at Aberdulais for nearly 200 years since 1824 until it was damaged in 2015 cutting off the canal’s main water supply. Please visit our FOI page for more information in relation to the damaged Weir.

After three years with no direct supply and the Weir still not repaired the canal’s condition began to seriously deteriorate until in June 2018, after a hot, dry spell, with canal levels down to only a few inches in places threatening an eight-mile environment supporting a multitude of wildlife, the owners Port Tennant Company (Canal) were forced to take action pumping water direct from the River Neath to rectify the issue.

Probably the real reason why the water pumps were installed was due to water from the canal also being used to cool down the power plant at Baglan Energy Park in Port Talbot. The Power Plant had been abstracting significant amounts of water from the Tennant Canal via the pumping station at Jersey Marine (even from 2015 when the canal had no direct water supply due to the weir being damaged) until the company went into liquidation on March 24th, 2021. The Power Station was due to be switched off completely on January 14, 2022, but the Welsh government sought an injunction at the last moment for the plant to remain open until Businesses and NPTC offices around the Baglan site can be reconnected to the National grid at a cost of over £6m to the tax-payer.

Unsurprisingly and without any public notice, the pumps were removed by the Port Tennant Canal Company (owners) from the Aberdulias site just a few weeks after the Power Plant went into liquidation once again cutting the Tennant Canal’s only lifeline risking an environment that could have far-reaching effects on the water’s wildlife for years to come.

It’s been seven years since the mysterious damage to the weir in the River Neath cut the Tennant canals’ direct water supply. This along with no proper maintenance on the waterway for many years. Although in October 2021, after some determined public pressure, the owners did decide to restart some basic canal maintenance, nowhere near enough to make any difference to the neglected waterway, its towpaths, or its listed buildings.

So why hasn’t the weir been fixed? Natural Resources Wales – The Welsh Government created NRW in 2013, merging three existing bodies: the Countryside Council for Wales, Environment Agency Wales, and Forestry Commission Wales, a super quango paid for by the taxpayer has refused to licence or permit any attempts to repair the Weir or approve any other temporary solution to restore water supply from the River Neath (which the NRW manages) into the Tennant Canal.

NRW know the serious damage their unforgivable actions are having on the Tennants canals infrastructure which depends on high water levels to avoid devastating erosion to its banks. NRW knows large areas of invasive species of weeds will block out light that stops other, native species of weed from growing (particularly in hot weather) while removing oxygen from the water which can lead to a reduction in biodiversity.

Ask yourself why would an orginisation created to improve our environment knowingly want to destroy eight beautiful miles of waterway and its wildlife. Why would an orginisation want to destroy the environment on which plants, animals, and micro-organisms depend? Why would an organisation want to destroy the conservation of wild living resources to conserve species and ecosystems for future generations to enjoy?

Reading through our the Freedom of Information responses from Natural Resources Wales might give you some clues as to why this failing quango has hung the Tennant canal out to dry.

  • July 21, 2022,The Welsh Canal being ‘Hung out to Dry’ by Natural Resources Wales. Read more
  • July 15, 2022, – Fears over low water levels in Aberdulais Tennant Canal endangering wildlife survival. Read more
  • July 13, 2022, – Save the Tennant Canal on BBC News Wales Online. Read More
  • June 25, 2022, – Meeting Held to Save Canal by South Wales Evening Post Read more
  • June 18, 2022, – Action on restoring Water feed to the canal by Rick Hughes of the TCA. Read more
  • June 10, 2022, – Focussed Meeting to Save the Tennant Canal – organised by the recently formed Tennant Canal Association with representatives from PTC, NRW, CADW, NPT, and CBC. Read more
  • January 17, 2022, – South Wales West MS, Sioned Williams backs calls for the preservation of the historic Tennant Canal following concerns over its future. Read more
  • October 12, 2021, – South Wales West MS, Altaf Hussain MS speaks at the Welsh Assembly about his concerns on the future of the Tennant canal. Facebook Video and his letter to NRW (Natural Resources Wales)
The Tennant Canal at Red Jacket on June 17th, 2021.
The Tennant Canal at Red Jacket on June 17th, 2021

The canal is recognised as a site of interest for Nature Conservation (SINCs), with some stretches also being part of a nationally and internationally designated area. The Tennant canal forms part of the Crymlyn Bog and Pant y Sais Fen areas for conservation. The canal and its areas hold a multitude of wild and aquatic life including the extremely rare and protected Fen Raft Spider discovered in the canal in 2003.

So the first objective is simple. Natural Resources Wales (NRW) should allow a temporary ‘emergency’ use of a river culvert that was purposely designed, installed & approved to route water into the Tennant Canal until the Weir is fixed or another permanent solution can be found. All canal maintenance by the owners (Port Tennant Company) should restart immediately.’

Please write to your politicians from our take action link or/and use this website making it easy to write to the politicians who represent you.

Save the Tennant Canal Facebook Group
An Independent group growing in popularity and where we encourage you to share your knowledge and participate in discussions with a growing membership. You will also find more news on the Tennant Canal Association – A newly formed not-for-profit company awaiting the development of its official website.

The Welsh Government funded the Waterways and Wildlife handbook in managing our natural environment.

Tennant Canal News…

The Tennant Canal

History and technology flow together through the Tennant canal. South Wales Evening Post 1982 It may seem a little odd that an establishment as technologically up-to-date as an oil refinery should be receiving its water supplies from a canal built in the industrial hay-days of the 1920s. The fact is that the Llandarcy refinery was locatedContinue reading “The Tennant Canal”

Meeting Held to Save Canal.

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save the Tennant Canal. Meeting Held to Save Canal. By Robert Lloyd Print Contact Editor robert.lloyd01@walesonline.co.ukSource: South Wales Evening Post (Print Addition) June 25th, 2022 CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save the Tennant Canal, which runs from Neath to Port Tennant, have organised a meeting which was attended by representatives of Natural Resources Wales (NRW)Continue reading “Meeting Held to Save Canal.”

Cadoxton Culvert at the Tennant Canal

The Cadoxton Culvert

The Culvert flows from the Hills above Neath Golf Club down through Cadoxton Park under the Main Road and Stanley Place before finally making its way to the Tennant Canal. Looking at the many maps on the area it seems that at one time the culvert ran under the Tennant Canal towards the River Neath. Fortunately,Continue reading “The Cadoxton Culvert”

We are regularly updating this website so I thank you for being patient while we complete the process.

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