The new channel will be developed into a natural environment. Where sections have already been dug, sand martins have moved into the area and kingfishers have nested. Fish will find their way in, and good provision is being made for angling, including innovative access for disabled anglers. There will also be an ecological study centre.
A footpath and Sustrans cycleway will run along the length, linked into other cycleways, footpaths and bridleways. 'I've got this grand idea that when it opens, we'll have this monstrous sponsored walk, it'll tread the footpaths in beautifully,' says project manager Colin Martin.