Save the Tennant Canal was told that the canal seems to have been abandoned by its owners.
July 15, 2021
After the Tennant canal had experienced low flow conditions for several weeks we visited Aberdulais at Canalside to explore any possible reason for the canals’ sudden loss of water supply.
We immediately noticed that the large water pumps installed on the site after a dry hot spell in 2018 to restore some supply to the canal had been removed from the site. The canal was previously supplied by a river weir which partially collapsed in 2015.
We spoke to some workers who confirmed the Port Tennant Canal Company had ordered the removal of the pumps some weeks before. All if any maintenance had also been stopped due to a lack of funding. 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.
It was clear that the Tennant canal for many weeks had practically been abandoned. It was mid-summer and it had no water source, receiving no maintenance and just left to its own fate.
Unfortunately, thousands of fish including Tench, Bream, and Carp have already fallen victim to the Tennant Canal’s pollution over the years, being mainly bottom-feeding fish. (Without a healthy flow and extensive dredging, lack of proper weed control or bank maintenance for many years, the canal will contain toxic by-products in its muddy bottom which gets ingested by the fish and other aquatic life)
The canal’s flow is being monitored regularly by the public. The current situation looks set to worsen for the Tennant Canal’s future in 2022. Without a proper source of water supply, the canal will become a polluted swamp, resembling a ‘floodwater relief drain’ for the River Neath and not an eight-mile haven for wildlife. The Neath canal below is also in a dreadful state.
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