Hundreds of boats have been left stranded after the emergency closure of two stretches of canal.

The Canal & River Trust, which manages the waterways, has shut Macclesfield Canal near Bollington after a leak flooded the recreation ground.

Meanwhile, a section of the Peak Forest Canal at Marple Locks, near to the junction with the Macclesfield Canal, is blocked because of a broken lock gate.

The closures mean that around 200 boats are now isolated from the rest of the canal network.

It is not known where on the network these boats are.

Engineers are working to resolve the problems, but warn that repairs could run into next week.

The problems on the Macclesfield Canal are outside Clarence Mill.

As a temporary emergency measure, stop planks have been inserted either side of the leak.

This weekend a short section of the canal is being drained so engineers can assess the damage.

A section of the towpath will be closed while repair work is being carried out.

The issue on the Peak Forest Canal is at Lock 12, where a lock gate has separated from the lock chamber wall where the metal hinge attaches to the masonry.

The ‘anchor plate’ is one of the last original iron gate hinges on the flight so the Trust is hoping to preserve it with careful heritage repairs.

This section of the canal will be closed while engineers carry out temporary emergency work so the lock can be re-opened to boaters some time next week.

The section of Macclesfield Canal which is closed is between the two X's

David Baldacchino, Canal & River Trust waterway manager, said: “We have had two issues at Marple (Peak Forest Canal) and Bollington (Macclesfield Canal) which have resulted in temporary closure of the canal navigations.

“At Bollington, our teams have been monitoring a leak to the canal outside Clarence Mill and water is now seeping into the recreation ground below. As a temporary emergency measure, stop planks have been inserted either side of the leak and a short section of the canal is being drained over the weekend so our engineers can assess the damage early next week. A section of the towpath next to the drained area may be closed while repair work is being carried out.

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“The original canal structure here is clay laid on rock. The canal network is more than 200 years and inevitably leaks of this type do occur from time to time. Trust engineers will be working hard to repair the problem as quickly as possible so the canal can be re-opened to boaters. Further news will be available next week after the engineers’ inspection.

“The Peak Forest Canal at Marple Locks, near to the junction with the Macclesfield Canal, has also been closed temporarily due to a broken lock gate.

“A lock gate at Lock 12 of the 16 lock flight has separated from the lock chamber wall where the metal hinge attaches to the masonry. The ‘anchor plate’ is one of the last original iron gate hinges on the flight so the Trust is hoping to preserve it with careful heritage repairs. The plan is to carry out temporary emergency work so the lock can be re-opened to boaters some time next week.

“Around 200 boats are now isolated from the rest of the canal network due to these two issues.

“Canal & River Trust staff are liaising with boaters to keep them informed of developments. We will re-open both canals as speedily as we can.”