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Last Updated: Sunday, 29 January 2006, 14:24 GMT
Work starts on canal project plan
A stretch of the Cromford Canal
The canal is overgrown and disused
A group hoping to revive a Derbyshire canal are preparing detailed plans for the next stage of its restoration.

The Friends of Cromford Canal has already spent years clearing much of the area along the 15-mile canal.

The plans for the Pinxton arm of the canal will be ready by the spring, a spokesman said.

Group chairman Mike Kelly said: "This early step towards the restoration of the canal gives the opportunity to demonstrate its ecological benefits."

First step

The 700-member group was formed in March 2002 to campaign to reopen the entire length of the Cromford Canal.

He said restoration will increase the biodiversity of the area and provide a vastly improved environment for local wildlife.

"The decision to allow us to apply for planning permission for this work is seen as a first step in winning over all the authorities and getting them to agree to modify plans to the benefit of the canal."

The canal was built in 1794 to join Cromford with the Erewash Canal at Langley Mill.

The site has been designated a World Heritage site.

Derbyshire County Council completed a 3m restoration of five miles of the canal from Chesterfield to Staveley in 2002.

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