Latest News & Events

ACA Quiz Night in November 2020 now cancelled

It is with regret that the ACA has had to decide to cancel the Quiz Night for this year. At the time of writing (September 2020) indoor face to face meetings are not allowed and there is no positive indication when this situation will be relaxed. Furthermore social distancing rules at indoor functions mean that with the reduced number permitted to attend the event would be financially unviable.

We hope to resume with the event in November 2021.


Canal & River Trust Improve the Towpath in Hinckley in July 2020

C&RT, thanks to funding secured from Taylor Wimpey as part of a local development project, have begun improving a 240 metre section of the Ashby Canal towpath in Hinckley. The aim of the project is to provide a clean, green route connecting the Sansome Drive housing development with Nutts Lane.

The improvements will involve making the towpath wider and laying a new surface, which will make it more appealing for the local community to spend time by the water.

The works began on Monday 6 July and are anticipated to last for four weeks. Our thanks go to local resident and ACA member, Steve Rhodes, for keeping an eye on proceedings.

Snarestone Shop, Wharf and Slipway now open

In line with Government guidelines that charity shops may re-open, the shop at Snarestone is now open. Appropriate social distancing is required,

Hand sanitiser is available, and masks ( required for customers visiting the inside of the shop) may be purchased cheaply if customers haven’t brought their own.

Ice creams, cold & hot drinks are available to take away.

We look forward to welcoming visitors back to Snarestone Wharf.

Update to our Chairman’s message – July 2020

Snarestone Wharf – The Gateway to the Restoration

The Coronavirus Pandemic is very unsettling for us all and the essential lock-down has been difficult and tiresome.  Boating activity is now slowly increasing as the restrictions have been eased, and we are pleased to be able to welcome visitors back to the wharf at Snarestone.  We have already seen more walkers, boating visitors and paddle-boarders.

 We intend to publish the September issue of ‘Spout’ as usual.  However there will be less event news content so if you can contribute any items for publication it would be much appreciated.  Typically this can be about your boat, technical material, wildlife or about canal adventures.  Items should be emailed to: 

 Moira Canal Festival was sadly cancelled; also the smaller events where ACA normally have a stand.  The many Waterways Events scheduled for the summer have similarly been cancelled.

Snarestone Wharf has re-opened, with social distancing in place, hand sanitiser available at the entrance to our shop, and masks required for those going inside our bric a brac emporium and shop*.  Ice cream and cold & hot drinks are available for customers to take away.  (*Masks for use within the shop will be available to purchase cheaply if customers haven’t got their own)

Our social evenings are at the moment unaffected since we have nothing further planned until October, and the annual quiz in November. An update will be posted about these nearer the time.

Wat Can You Do To Help?

The above issues unfortunately resulted in lack of income which is our life-blood for maintenance and the restoration.

As a valued member some of the ways you can help are:

  1. By ensuring that you have your membership up-to-date, since your subscription is vital.
  2. By asking people you know to become members.  Membership details and forms are in Spout and on the web site: www.
  3. By becoming a volunteer when the current crisis is over.
  4. By making a donation.
  5. You can support the ACA from home by shopping online through #easyfundraising.  Signing up is quick and easy and you’ll raise free donations to ACA every time you shop on line.  Visit 


Work parties – suspended from 14th September 2020 until further notice

Following the Government’s recent edict restricting gatherings to no more than 6 people, the ACA has decided to suspend scheduling any work parties from Monday 14th September 2020.  When the current restriction is relaxed, there will be new Covid-secure measures in place for everyone’s safety, and the ACA will issue a document to this effect in due course.

Our  work parties usually take place on the third Sunday of the month, and the usual starting location is Snarestone Wharf, Quarry Lane, Snarestone (sat nav postcode DE12 7DD), or Ilott Wharf, Bosworth Road (Google map ref. 52.696407-1.484737) from around 10:00 a.m.

There are some ongoing projects, which also require volunteers:

BenchesWe have a number of benches, seats or picnic tables spaced along the canal between Snarestone and The Lime Kilns pub. A small number of volunteers have been assigned to various locations along the canal corridor and good progress is being made in repainting these.

If you can help, or would like to know more, please get in touch with Clive Walker on  01827 282298 or David Watts on 01455 846007, or e mail:

Working Wednesdays

We hold informal work parties most Wednesdays at Snarestone Wharf,  from approx 10.15 am to early afternoon.  There are usually plenty of jobs to be done – including grass cutting, weeding, keeping the site tidy, sorting  bric-a-brac,  putting up notices, maintaining our sheds, etc.  Very informal but rewarding.  If you would like to join us – you would be most welcome.

Please call Rod Smith on 01530 833307 or David Watts 01455 846007 for details

Report from the work party on Sunday 26th July 2020

The first work party of this Summer took place on Sunday 26th July 2020.  The nature reserve by Snarestone Wharf was tidied up in advance of an inspection by Heritage England at the start of August.


Report from the work party on Sunday 23rd February 2020

Scrub was cut and cleared from the site of the new nature reserve beyond bridge 61a, where the fence was constructed during the work party in January 2020. Some of the scrub was used to create habitat piles for wildlife.

Report from the work party on Sunday 19th January 2020

A fence was erected between the land where the wooden chalets are being built (the offside bend in the canal just north of Snarestone slipway) and the land bordering the canal, which is owned by the ACA. Wooden posts were inserted into the ground and cross timbers attached to create a secure fence.

Report from the work party on Sunday 21st September 2019

The hedge was trimmed and the middle of the offside nature reserve was strimmed. A large amount of orange balsam was also removed. Work also continued on the canopy over the shop front. 

Report from the work party on Sunday 28th April 2019

Essential maintenance was carried out on a birch tree at Snarestone Wharf that is in danger of becoming uprooted following recent stormy weather.

Report from the work party on Sunday 24th March 2019

At Ilott Wharf a number of volunteers repaired a fence that had been damaged by a fallen willow, whilst others made the most of the good weather and burnt scrub. The day finished with some reed cutting in the nature reserve at Snarestone Wharf.

Report from the work party on Sunday 18th February 2019

Eight volunteers continued to trim the towpath hedge, whilst two other volunteers removed the planks from two damaged benches opposite Hinckley Marina. The benches will eventually be re-fitted with fresh, treated planks..

Report from the work party on Sunday 20th January 2019

Six volunteers helped trim the towpath hedge between Snarestone Wharf and bridge 62.

Report from the work party on Sunday 16th December 2018

Twelve volunteers helped trim the towpath hedge between Snarestone Wharf and bridge 62.

Report from the work party on Sunday 21st October 2018

Fourteen volunteers cleared scrub at the entrance to the car park at Ilott Wharf, thus improving the visibility of the noticeboard from the Bosworth Road.  In addition, grass and brambles were cut around the bases of the saplings that line the wooden fencing. This will improve their chances of further growth.

Report from the work party on Sunday 3rd June 2018

Six volunteers cleared rubbish, cut down saplings and burned scrub in preparation for the visit of the University of Leicester between 5th and 7th June 2018. In order to improve accessibility, and to make the terrain more visible, it has been decided to contract a local farmer to mow the grass before the start of the archaeological dig. This may also help to reduce the prevalence of ruts which make the ground very uneven and difficult to walk or work on.

Report from the work party on Sunday 15th April 2018

Twelve volunteers cleared scrub at Ilott Wharf, and repaired the wire fence that borders the site of the car boot sale. Afterwards the volunteers enjoyed a BBQ at the new purpose-built site at Snarestone Wharf.

Report from the work party on Sunday 18th February 2018

Twenty two volunteers, including several new faces, cleared scrub, broke up large hay bales, painted gates and tidied the hard standing area at Ilott Wharf.

Report from the work party on Sunday 28th January 2018

Sixteen volunteers worked either side of the Gilwiskaw Brook clearing and burning further scrub and brambles. 

Report from the work party on Sunday 12th November 2017

Fifteen volunteers, five of whom turned up for the first time, helped clear scrub and brambles from both sides of the Gilwiskaw Brook, The yellow and red engineering posts, that mark the location of the pending aqueduct are now clearly visible and more easily accessible.






Coronoavirus and Boating Update from C&RT , dated 23 June 2020

Staying on your boat

As you may have heard, the Government has today announced measures to continue the easing of lockdown. Importantly, this means that from Saturday 4 July all boaters in England will be able to stay overnight on their boats.

While longer journeys are now possible, and our navigations are open in full, please bear in mind that booking for some passages and services will be required. Anything that is likely to affect your boating will be listed on our website.

In Wales, you can go out on your boat if you can do it locally. This generally means not travelling further than five miles to where your boat is moored. There should be no overnight stays on boats, no landing in any place beyond the immediate local area and a return to the point of departure. The restrictions on staying local could be lifted on Monday 6 July, if conditions allow, and we will update further when this is confirmed.

An appeal (31 March 2020) to ACA members to notify us of their email addresses, and to update GDPR forms

In view of the ongoing lockdown of most economic activity, the ACA is looking at the possibility of issuing the next edition of Spout (in June) as an email attachment, rather than as a printed booklet. We are also considering issuing the June Spout as a .pdf attachment on this website.

To this end, there is a small number of members who have not supplied us with their email address, and a larger number of members who have not filled out a GDPR form. Without your consent, or e-contact details,  we will unfortunately be unable to send you any such correspondence.

If you do indeed have an email address, but have not notified us, can you please let us know shortly by contacting one of the following:

or by text to: 07866 201873

Likewise, you can download a GDPR form by clicking on the red membership button to the right of this page, and you should then send it to one of the two email addresses above.

Many thanks for your cooperation in these turbulent times.

Clive Walker/ACA Database



Ashby Canal Trail Award

We are pleased to announce that the Ashby Canal Trust, after a detailed submission by project advisor, Geoff Pursglove, has been awarded an IWA Waterways in Progress grant of £10,000 to establish a footpath on the line of the proposed Ashby Canal restoration between Snarestone and Measham – see also Waterways Issue 267/Spring 2020 and

This footpath will be a precursor to the main restoration project and will help raise the profile of the ACA /ACT efforts to further raise the necessary funding for the full restoration, especially with the residents of the area. 

The footpath will be a joint venture between the ACT and ACA and will involve a great deal of volunteer time from our work party team. The major groundwork clearance and preparation, and installation of the necessary pedestrian gates will be carried out by contractors. The work will be commenced in earnest during the autumn of 2020, but some preparation work is likely to take place before then.

The existing Ashby Canal towpath will form the first 1/3 mile of the route. Crossing Gilwiskaw Brook, where the route will enter a Special Area of Conservation, the length will follow the original line of the canal to Ilott Wharf and then pursue the Transport & Works Act Order route to Measham, passing the old preserved Measham Midland Railway station, now Measham museum.

IWA awards ACA for 50 years of membership

Only a small number of supporters have been members of the IWA for fifty years or more. The ACA is a corporate member and this is reflected by a logo on our letterhead.

As a thank you for our support, and in recognition of our loyalty, the ACA has received a commemorative gold-coloured plaque in celebration of this anniversary.

Both the IWA and the ACA have changed in many ways since their inception, but at heart both parties continue to ensure the protection and restoration of our waterways for our future generations to enjoy.

The ACA looks forward to continuing to support the IWA over the coming years.