Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Back to the Bat Cave

Today we resumed our interrupted walk to find the collapsed Greywell Tunnel on the Basingstoke Canal. The canal was built starting in 1787 as a means of transporting goods from the Northeast Hampshire area into London. It entailed 29 locks and a 1200 yard long tunnel to raise the water 245 feet. The arrival of railway was the death of the canal as a commercial enterprise but, thanks to enthusiastic (and mostly volunteer) collaboration most of the canal has been retained and/or reinstated to allow for public enjoyment. Read more about the canal here: http://www.basingstoke-canal.co.uk/index.html

Odiham Castle along the Basingstoke Canal. Also known as King John's Castle (early 13th century). Currently work underway to arrest decay.

ll Tunnel collapsed in 1932 and over time became completely blocked. It is now an important winter habitat for hibernating bats. More about the tunnel here:

Greywell Tunnel

We got there without incident this time (after spraining my ankle last time). It was a clear sunny day with lots of birds and fish in the canal. We couldn't see far in to the tunnel but it was interesting just to see where it was. We could
hear a couple of guys inside the tunnel doing some work but couldn't see them. Couldn't see any bats either, dang.
Robin above Greywell Tunnel and looking along the canal towards Odiham.

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