About Us

The Swansea Canal Society

The Swansea Canal Society was formed in 1981 and is run by volunteers. We became a registered charity in 2004.
The Canal is owned by the Canal and River Trust and we work closely in partnership with them.
The Swansea Canal is a two hundred and twenty year old structure of immense importance to the Lower Swansea Valley. It is no longer the sixteen mile industrial supply line from Abercraf to the city of Swansea, but the existing six miles in water are the home to otters and bats; kingfishers, dippers, and ducks; moths, butterflies and beetles.  Many of its bridges, aqueducts and locks are listed buildings or scheduled ancient monuments and part of Swansea’s unique heritage.  The canal’s mainly rural setting gives pleasure to walkers, cyclists, joggers, and runners alike. We have a linear water park that we should all be proud of and the SCS aims to improve that amenity for everyone’s benefit.

Our aims are:

1. To promote the heritage and history of the canal
2. To protect its wildlife
3. To restore the canal to navigable standards
4. To improve the canal environment for the health and benefit of all visitors.

Our hope is to make the Swansea Canal something the whole community can be proud of. This requires many more volunteers. If you are willing to help then we can find something you can do. We have many plans for the canal, including opening the piped sections at the old Highways Depot and Trebanos Playing Fields.
We have been running a successful Canoe Hire facility in Coed Gwilym Park each Sunday since April this year and have had many customers enjoying our canoes and kayaks.  We have now closed the boat hire for winter, but will be opening again next year.  In the meantime we will be operating a second work party on a one Sunday a month for those who cannot attend the week day work party.
We need new members of all ages, groups and disadvantaged people, no-one is excluded. With your help we can achieve our goals more quickly.


I was very surprised and pleased to be asked recently to lend my support to the Swansea Canal Society’s work as Patron, and am delighted to be able to offer some words of support for the inspiring work already underway and plans for the future.

The Great British public owe a great deal in the resurgence of the canal network to the efforts of small groups of enthusiasts and volunteers who began to campaign for, clean, dredge and rebuild decades ago. In recent partnership with the Canal and River Trust, many of our historic waterways have not only been interpreted to help local people connect with and understand the places where they live and work, but have provided a place of leisure, an environment for plant life, animals and birds in increasingly urbanised environments, and helped people to improve their physical and mental well-being.

It is my hope that the society will be able to gather the necessary support to move forward with their ambitious plans to restore and regenerate an area for which I have fond memories and much affection.

Liz McIvor
November, 2015

Some Facts about Liz:

Liz McIvor, is presenter and writer of the BBC4 series, ‘Canals: The Making of a Nation’.  Liz has also written the book which accompanies the series, which finished its six part run on October 6th. Both the book and series have been very well received and it has become BBC4’s top-rated show of the year (source: Broadcast Commissioning Forum). Alison Graham in the ‘Radio Times’ described Liz’s style as ‘direct, informative and engaging’.

Liz McIvor’s day job is as curator of social history and technology at Bradford Museums and Galleries. She attended the University College of Wales in Aberystwyth where she was awarded a First Class degree in History in 2000, specialising in social and economic history. She later attended University of London where she did a Masters in Museum Studies.

Liz has close connections to Swansea as she lived in Fforestfach in the early 2000’s, whilst working as a Curator and Historical Advisor in South Wales. She worked with miners and minority groups and studied Cambrian Archaeology. She even dug up the occasional Cambrian skeleton in the course of her studies!

The SCS is delighted to have Liz’s support. She is not only a first class writer and presenter but she loves Britain’s canals and has a deep knowledge of their social history. She is the ideal patron for us.

Gordon Walker – Chair
Mike Fuller – Secretary
John Gwalter – Treasurer
Clive Reed – Heritage Consultant

Charity Registration Number 1168894

Canal News on our Blog

Canal News on our Blog

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