Linlithgow Embankment Study

As part of their winter works programme, Scottish Canals’ engineering team temporarily reduced the water level of a stretch of the Union Canal at Linlithgow between the 9th of January and 16th February 2017 allowing them to undertake a more detailed study of the condition of the canal embankments and channel in order to inform future works and maintenance of the waterway.



Drop-in sessions were held at LUCS to allow the public to come along, see the canal as probably never seen before, and find out a little more about the engineering, heritage, and wildlife of the Union Canal and the works Scottish Canals takes to safeguard its rich heritage.

What about the fish?

The fish were caught and temporarily rehomed in other sections of the canal by specialist contractors. Several thousand fish, including roach, tench, perch, pike, three-spined stickleback, eel, and brown trout were relocated. After the canal is re-watered, they’ll make their way back to their original ‘homes.’ Various experts and public bodies such as Scottish Environment Protection Agency; River Forth Fisheries Trust; Marine Scotland; Scottish Natural Heritage; and the Scottish Federation for Coarse Angling were collaborated with throughout the project.

Draining the canal?

The canal was drained by opening a valve in the bed of the canal at Woodcockdale. This removed around 30,000 cubic metres of water during the project. Scottish Canals carefully monitored and managed the flow of water through the valve, catching any sediment that may wash out of the canal using straw bales placed in the burn the water will run into.