MEMBERS of the Cotswold Canals Trust are celebrating after water entered a new canal channel through the A38 Whitminster Roundabout.

Volunteer Mike Gallagher took this photo of water in the new canal channel, part of the canal restoration works between Stonehouse and Saul Junction, on a stretch called the ‘missing mile’.

A trust spokeswoman said: “We are so near completion of the canal channel through the Whitminster roundabout.

"Thanks to the brilliant efforts of Alun Griffiths Contractors LTD, the funding from Highways England Designated Funds and the project management of Gloucestershire County Council, we estimate that hand over will be in the week commencing November 16, 2020.

"Despite all the challenges we faced due to Covid-19 the team pulled together and we now have a canal channel filling with water, its just so fantastic.”

“In just a few months we will be able to begin the rest of the restoration of Stroudwater Navigation, linking our beautiful landscape with the rest of the UK’s inland waterways network.

"The total cost of delivering this restoration, between now and 2023 is £23.5m, we have raised so far £22.3m, which will enable us to get started.

"If the public want to get involved in volunteering or are able to contribute to the fundraising in anyway, please get in touch with Cotswold Canals Trust on 01453 752568 or email

Describing how the 'missing mile' came about, Gloucestershire County Council said: "The canal at this location was originally crossed by the Bristol Road (now A38) on a stone arched bridge. The lock and the bridge were both destroyed at the time the A419 link road was built in conjunction with the building of the M5 in or around 1969.

"The entire canal from the point where the surviving canal approaches the A38 Whitminster roundabout to Westfield Lock was obliterated – a distance of about a mile, the so called ‘missing mile’."