Focussed Meeting to Save the Tennant Canal

A Tennant Canal focussed session took place on Friday, June 10th at the Driving Range in Aberdulais.

A focussed session took place on Friday, June 10th at the Driving Range in Aberdulais organised by the recently formed Tennant Canal Association with representatives from PTC, NRW, CADW, NPT, and CBC. Senedd members, local councillors, and those with expertise or history of the canal including the Coombe-Tennant family attending.

  • Meeting Agenda: PDF (149 KB)
  • Briefing Document: PDF (103 KB)
  • TCA Position Statement: PDF (1.2MB)

Sioned Williams AS/MS
A very productive meeting was held in Aberdulais by the Tennant Canal Association with Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru / Natural Resources Wales, the owners, and local representatives, to resolve the serious deterioration of the Tennant Canal. The canal is a great local asset with so much potential – and a habitat for rare species which must be protected.

Before the meeting, Rick Hughes from the TCA on the STTC Facebook site said “Some may view this as just people talking, this is not the case. We have the complex issue of a Canal with no income, a significant annual running cost, plus capital spending required to repair the weir. By getting all the involved parties together we hope to avoid the usual cycles of prevarication & delay, particularly around the obstacles of gaining NRW permission to undertake the work, and funding to do it”.

In 2018, large water pumps were installed which fed into the canal to improve water flow then in early July 2021
In 2018, large water pumps were installed that fed into the canal to improve water flow.

Comment: The Tennant Canal’s low flow situation right now is urgent but will not be treated as such due to no money being exchanged between businesses and no risk to Baglan Energy Park in Port Talbot like in 2018 when water from the canal was used to cool down the power plant which went into liquidation on 24 March 2021. Truth is the wealthy canal owners along with Neath and Port Talbot Council and Natural Resources Wales have never cared about the canal’s wildlife or the local environment otherwise the water pumps used from 2018 -2021 would be reinstalled and a permanent solution found immediately like repairing the damaged supply Weir at Aberdulais. Perhaps the Tennant Canal Association meeting on Friday might eventually offer a solution but only time will tell.

The damaged Tennant canal supply Weir at Aberdulais 31-05-2022
The damaged Tennant canal supply Weir at Aberdulais 31-05-2022 (Picture from STTC Facebook site)

Meanwhile, the weather forecast for the rest of June 2022 looks like being incredibly dry spelling hot drought-like weather increasing the canal’s vulnerabilities with its biodiversity under extreme threat increasing challenges in all areas requiring emergency programs to prevent major losses of waterbirds and extinctions of numerous native fish species. So once again like in previous years only rain can save the historic eight-mile canal which continues to deteriorate daily.

June 18th, 2022 – Meeting Summary: Action on restoring Water feed to the canal by Rick Hughes of the TCA.