One of our most precious features in our valley has to be our canal. It’s a shame that past generations didn’t have the foresight to keep the canal intact, it would have been a huge boost to tourism in our region. However it is still a regular haunt for walkers, cyclists and joggers and remains an important asset to the valley. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Swansea Canal Society, these volunteers are out there regularly, in all types of weather maintaining and improving the canal. The Society was formed in 1981 and is run by volunteers. They became a registered charity in 2004. The Canal is owned by the Canal and River Trust and they work closely in partnership with them.
The Swansea Canal is a two hundred and twenty year old structure of immense importance to the Lower Swansea Valley. It is no longer the sixteen mile industrial supply line from Abercraf to the city of Swansea, but the existing six miles in water are the home to otters and bats; kingfishers, dippers, and ducks; moths, butterflies and beetles. Many of its bridges, aqueducts and locks are listed buildings or scheduled ancient monuments and part of Swansea’s unique heritage. The canal’s mainly rural setting gives pleasure to walkers, cyclists, joggers, and runners alike. We have a linear water park that we should all be proud of and the SCS aims to improve that amenity for everyone’s benefit.
Their hope is to make the Swansea Canal something the whole community can be proud of. This requires many more volunteers. If you are willing to help then they can find something you can do. They have many plans for the canal, including opening the piped sections at the old Highways Depot and Trebanos Playing Fields.
They have been running a successful Canoe Hire facility in Coed Gwilym Park each Sunday since April this year and have had many customers enjoying our canoes and kayaks..