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Lichfield and Hatherton Canals

Usually referred to together, the Lichfield Canal and the Hatherton Canal are actually two separate waterways. Restoration of them both will provide additional access to the presently underused northern parts of the Birmingham Canal Navigations.

Map showing the Lichfield and Hatherton Canals and surrounding waterways

Facts & Stats

7 miles


The length of both of the Lichfield and the Hatherton canals.

30 locks

Along the Lichfield Canal


Invested in major road crossings to preserve the continuity of the routes

Lichfield Canal & Hatherton Canals

The Lichfield Canal consists of the Ogley to Huddlesford length of the Wyrley and Essington Canal.  It descends from the Wolverhampton level of the Birmingham Canal to the Coventry Canal.

The Hatherton Canal is the Hatherton Branch of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal plus a new section of canal to replace the former Churchbridge Locks connection to the Cannock Extension Canal that was lost to coal mining.  

Restoration Progress

Both canal restorations have many obstacles to overcome, particularly road crossings. The threat posed by the building of the M6 Toll Motorway was an early challenge. Over £2 million was invested in these major road crossings to preserve continuity of the routes, which for some time inhibited the pace of physical restoration work.  

The Lichfield Canal has seen work over many years on several sites. These include the restoration of a lock at Fosseway Lane, and a partly built diversion channel, a lift bridge and an inverted siphon stream culvert at Darnford Lane.

Tamworth Road

Much voluntary work effort has been at Tamworth Road in Lichfield.  Two partly demolished locks have been rebuilt, wash walls reconstructed, a section of a land drain pipeline removed, a slipway built, and a pound relined and re-watered. In the adjacent Darnford Park, between two future road crossings, the site for two new locks has been excavated and extensive landscaping carried out.


A grant in 2015 enabled the Trust to purchase a 1 km section of canal at Summerhill, clear 60 years of undergrowth, construct a new culvert and canal channel over the Crane Brook to replace the one demolished when the motorway was built, and to relay hedges and resurface the towpath between the Boat Inn and the aqueduct.

Fosseway Heath

In 2017 work started at Fosseway Heath to reinstate a missing section of towpath, modify the canal channel and create a nature area.  By 2019 a large new turning basin had been mostly completed, and at Fosseway Lock 18 the channel was re-excavated back to the road and the towpath wall rebuilt.  From 2020 onwards a section of new channel alongside Falkland Road has been built and progressively extended.


Local Events

Waterway underfunding

Hundreds of miles of waterways – along with their unique heritage and habitats – are currently starved of funding and rely on constant lobbying by us to safeguard their future.

Sustainable Boating

We want boating on canals and rivers to be more sustainable and – even though the current overall contribution to UK carbon emissions is very small – we want to help reduce emissions on the waterways.

Waterways Heritage at Risk

Britain’s canals and rivers are a unique, living heritage. But that heritage is at risk – from urban development, lack of protection, loss of skills and knowledge and climate change.

You can help Save Waterways Heritage.

Waterway restoration

Restoring the UK’s blue infrastructure – our inherited network of navigable canals and rivers – is good for people and places.