The first canal linking Droitwich to the river Severn was completed in 1771 for transporting the salt that was extracted from the towns natural brine springs (said to be 10 times saltier than sea water) for sale. In 1815 the Birmingham to Worcester canal opened, but unfortunately due to the local geography it avoided Droitwich. Until this part of the canal was opened in 1854, linking the town to the Birmingham to Worcester canal, the salt was transported by hand cart.
Unfortunately by the start of the 20th Century the rail networks were expanding around the country taking traffic away from the canals. The section of the canal to the river Severn closed in 1918 while this section stayed open until the mid 1920s. In 1963 the M5 was built cutting across the path of the canal (running across the top of the grass bank behind the trees). Luckily the canal wasn't severed and instead a small tunnel was constructed.
In 1973 a trust was formed with the goal of restoring the canal, and what you see here is the almost completion of this project. All that is left is the final stretch connecting it to the Birmingham to Worcester canal and they are hoping that this will be done by Summer 2011. Of course this time when the canal opens again it won't be transporting salt, but concentrating on the leisure industry.