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Union Canal Bicentenary – 200 years of life!

Event organised by ICE

11 May 2022
17:30 - 18:30 BST (GMT+1)

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Brought to you by the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation, the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in the UK and ICE Scotland, this webinar will celebrate 200 years of the Union Canal which links the heart of Edinburgh with the Falkirk Wheel (where it links to the Forth and Clyde Canal).

Chris O’Connell from Scottish Canals will share his knowledge about the engineering heritage of this great canal as well as talk about the destination it is today for leisure activities, boating holidays and the wildlife haven it provides, creating places and spaces that people want to live, work in and visit.

Notable features of this contour canal, engineered by Hugh Baird, include a tunnel and three mighty aqueducts across the Avon, Almond and Water of Leith. The canal originally opened in 1822 with principal early traffics including coal, agricultural products and passengers and closed in 1965. However, thanks to the Millennium Link project it has now been magnificently revived and the long-lost link to the Forth & Clyde restored by the creation of the Falkirk Wheel, the tallest boatlift in the world.


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Chris O'Connell

Chris O'Connell

Scottish Canals

heritage manager

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Chris O'Connell

Chris studied archaeology at Durham University and Cognitive Evolution and archaeology at Reading University. After university Chris worked as a consulting archaeologist for an Edinburgh based company. Chris was seconded to Scottish Canals in 2011 for two years and subsequently has been a full-time employee for the canals. As Heritage Manager Chris works with Local Authorities and HES to ensure work undertaken on the canal is sensitive and appropriate to the heritage of the canals as Scheduled Monuments. His particular focus is the susceptibility of historic assets to climate change.

For more information please contact:

Lynn Dow