AN AMAZING new video has shown two canal tunnels in Herefordshire.

A bit of a hidden secret, the Hereford and Gloucester Canal runs between the two cities via Ledbury and Newent.

The Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canals Trust, the roots of which go back to 1982, aims to reconstruct the full length of the canal.

It says its vision is for a sustainable, fully-navigable waterway and towpath, reconnecting the rural communities between the two cities.

It also hopes it will bring environmental and economic benefits to both counties, as well as recreational opportunities for local people and visitors.

And two intrepid explorers have filmed a new video which shows inside two of the canal's tunnels in Herefordshire.


One is at Ashperton, near Ledbury, and the other at Aylestone, on the outskirts of Hereford.

The Ashperton tunnel, on private land at the bottom of a private home's garden, could be seen in the video with luminous green stagnant water.

Only the very top of the tunnel could be seen, with water eight or nine feet deep, presenter Paul Whitewick said.

Appearing in the video with Rebecca Whitewick, the pair also said how the water is held by a dam half a mile downstream which will be removed when the canal restoration project hopefully reaches that point.

In Hereford at Aylestone, half of the tunnel under the railway line has been infilled through the old Holmer Trading Estate and the other half is completely blocked.

Canal restoration by the trust in Hereford began in earnest in August 2002 after Aylestone Park was taken over by Herefordshire Council, and the formation of a partnership between the Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal Trust, Herefordshire Council and The Aylestone Park Association.

The plan was to develop the site to provide much-needed sports and recreational facilities and to restore the quarter-mile section of the canal running along the northern boundary of the park.


Since then, a significant project to remove contaminated silt from the canal channel has been completed, and 100 years of rubbish and undergrowth cleared.

The trust said its volunteers have built a boat launching slipway, and contractors have completed work to create a new overflow weir.

Emerging from the tunnel, the restored canal will need to deviate along a former railway siding from its original line to avoid a large factory, and then to pass around the Hereford Retail Park, where a new footbridge and new road bridge were built to accommodate the future line of the Canal in 2000, the trust said.

The historic line is regained just before the Burcott Road site, the Widemarsh Canal bridge is next and, shortly afterwards, the Canal will terminate in a New Hereford Basin.