The Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust is enrolled as an Environmental Body under the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme.
The Trust is concerned to ensure that its restoration activities protect and enhance the natural environment and the wildlife habitats along the Lichfield and Hatherton canals corridors.
The Trust will seek to restore the waterway ecology that developed in harmony with its operational functions during the 150 years of the canal’s working life, but was extinguished when the canals were abandoned and filled in.
The Trust will seek guidance from British Waterways and apply the BW Environmental Code of Practice to ensure construction and maintenance techniques are consistent with the current best practice.
The Trust will liaise with other appropriate environmental bodies such as the Environment Agency, English Nature, and local Wildlife Trusts and will support County and Local Authority Biodiversity Action Plans in re-creating waterway and waterside habitats appropriate to the local terrain.
To put environmental matters on a more formal basis, the Trust commissioned an Environmental Report. This summarises the history, route and restoration scheme proposals for the Lichfield Canal before dealing in detail with environmental issues, followed by a summary of probable Impacts, Environmental Benefits and Dis-benefits (some during the construction phase) and then Mitigation Measures required. The Mitigation Measures can be achieved by the adoption of an Environmental Action Plan and by following the British Waterways Environmental Code of Practice. The final section of the Report covers additional enhancement possibilities in the form of a Bio-diversity Action Plan and Habitat Creation.
In summary, it would seem that if the Trust continues to take appropriate advantage of opportunities where these can be fitted into the land available then we shall be able to demonstrate in accordance with the accepted criteria that the environmental benefits more than exceed the dis-benefits. Copies of the Report have been circulated to Lichfield District Council and Lichfield City Council and Staffordshire County Council, also the Environment Agency, British Waterways, English Nature and Staffordshire Wildlife Trust.
In 1999 the Trust commissioned Ed Sharkey Associates, Landscape Architects and Environmental Consultants, to prepare a report.
outlining the potential impacts and environmental benefits and disbenefits of a restoration of the Lichfield Canal. The report was completed in February 2000.