Restoring the Hollinwood Canal

Benefits of Restoration

  • The canal offers potential for further redevelopment and regeneration of Droylsden town centre.
  • There is potential for water sports facilities adjacent to existing sports centre north of Droylsden.
  • The canal opens up a green corridor for walkers and cyclists between Droylsden and Daisy Nook and also from Littlemoss, through Droylsden and on towards Manchester.
  • There would be the opportunity to improve the alignment of the hazardous Newmarket Road/Stannybrook Road junction.
  • There would be the opportunity to expand facilities at Daisy Nook Country Park with improved car parking and new visitor centre.
  • Preservation of the canal route offers potential for enhancing the redevelopment and regeneration of former Hollinwood gas works site and A62 area.
  • Preservation of the canal route would open up a green corridor for walkers and cyclists between Hollinwood and Daisy Nook.
  • This proposed green corridor could be linked to the Rochdale Canal towpath route, just half a mile from Hollinwood.
  • Restored canals have been shown to add value to the properties in the area.

Obstacles to Restoration

  • The most significant obstacle to the restoration of the canal is the M60 motorway, which crosses the line of the canal twice between Droylsden and Hollinwood. North of Littlemoss there is almost enough height for an aqueduct to be constructed. Coal workings have caused the land here to subside by over a metre. The motorway is on an incline here and a small diversion of the canal and the raising of the canal to its original level should create sufficient clearance over the motorway.
  • The motorway crossing at Woodhouses presents a major difficulty, however, with the motorway being approximately at towpath level. Whilst this could be overcome by a tunnel or a raised aqueduct with a lock at each end, we appreciate that this would be a costly solution and would present operational difficulties. At the present time such a solution is unlikely to be viable so it is the Society's aim to preserve the canal route between here and Hollinwood as a green corridor for cyclists and walkers, providing a pleasant link to Daisy Nook.
  • There was an aqueduct which carried the canal across the Manchester to Huddersfield railway at Littlemoss. This aqueduct was removed when the canal was closed and would need to be replaced. The original aqueduct was a massive masonry structure. A modern steel trough aqueduct would provide sufficient clearance for the proposed overhead electrification of the line.
  • Parts of the canal are still in water and much of the canal route is still open land. However, there has been some building on sections of the route in Droylsden and Hollinwood. There are a number of options for alternative routes in these areas which we will investigate.

In the meantime...

In the short term volunteers from the Society, in partnership with Oldham Countryside Service and in conjunction with Waterway Recovery Group, have been working to restore and improve canal features in Daisy Nook Country Park. This is being done in order to help prevent further deterioration and to make the various historic structures easier for visitors to interpret.