HUNDREDS of people attended the site of the canal breach as part of an open weekend organised by the Canal and River Trust.

Visitors were given the rare opportunity to see up close the huge repair and chat to engineers to find out how the charity is putting the canal bank back together.

The work will cost the charity around £3 million and is being funded by the Trust as well as generous donations from players of People’s Postcode Lottery together with the local community which has already given more than £25,000 to an emergency appeal.

Around 4,000 tonnes of material was washed away as the canal breached and will need to be replaced to reinstate the embankment.

The canal repairs will include a flexible PVC membrane and a fibre reinforced lining.

The Trust is working hard to re-open the canal as quickly as possible with a target to re-open at Christmas.

Following the open weekend, the Trust is appealing for volunteers to join a number of Towpath Taskforce events which are taking place on Sunday, September 16and Thursday, September 27 at Middlewich Locks in preparation for the canal re-opening later in the year.

Work will involve tidying up along the towpath, painting lock gates and clearing overgrown vegetation.

Jason Watts, volunteer coordinator at the Canal & River Trust said: “It was great that we were able to invite people along to see the great work that is being done to repair the canal.

“We received great feedback and everyone was astounded by the scale of the job and were really fascinated to be able to get very close to the work.

“The local community in Middlewich and all over the country have given us amazing support throughout the works and it just shows how much the canals mean to local communities.

“We’re holding a few taskforce events in September where local people can come along and help on the canal for a few hours to ensure the canal is in great condition.”