WORK to repair a section of embankment on the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal is underway.

A 125-metre section of the embankment between Llanfoist and Govilon ‘slipped’ down the side of the Blorenge mountain after becoming saturated with water during the recent torrential rain.

Glandwr Cymru, the Canal and River Trust in Wales, which cares for the 200-year-old waterway, detected the movement just after Christmas as part of its regular inspections and after stabilising the bank, began repair work, which is expected to cost at least £1million, last week.

The trust is working to push back the embankment by using up to 500 pins, each of which are 10 metres long. The nails are being put in place with repairs expected to take up to nine weeks.

A spokesman for the trust said the focus has been on preparing the site and that work is progressing well.

He said: “This has included clearing trees and building a temporary road onsite, using over 100 tons of stone, to allow the machines to get to the base of the embankment.”

Vince Moran, operations director at Glandwr Cymru, said: “We are determined to get the repairs done properly and to open this section of the canal again as soon as possible. We should stress that the canal either side of this short section remains open, and I’d encourage people to continue visiting by foot, bike and boat, as they do in their droves each year.”

The repair work in Wales, as well as the clean-up operation across waterways elsewhere, is being supported by a national fundraising appeal. For details visit

The section of the canal will be closed until the end of April.

The recent slippage comes seven years after a serious breach of the canal bank at Gilwern in October 2007.

Then, a number of houses to be evacuated and eight people were rescued by firefighters. The A4077 road between Crickhowell and Gilwern was also closed.