A section of pathway handrailing Norfolk’s only canal is set to remain closed - with no reopening date in sight.

An almost two-mile section of privately owned path between Ebridge and Swafield along the North Walsham and Dilham Canal has been closed since September 4 last year.

The Old Canal Company, which owns two-and-a-half miles of the canal, closed the path after a “trail of destruction” was left by dogs let off their leads by “disrespectful” owners.

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They also received complaints of dogs chasing wildlife, and mess being left along the path and discarded in bags in hedges.

Jeremy Cushion, director of the Old Canal Company, has said the canal will remain closed until works to repair the path and banks of the canal are complete.

“We hope to reopen the path, but we still need to make repairs,” he said.

“It’s a long process, which takes a lot of planning, time and work.”

Alongside repairs, new gates and signage reminding owners that dogs must be kept on leads are set to be installed along the canal path.

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Mr Cushion said part of the reason for further delays to the works are due to it being bird nesting season, which falls between March and the end of August.

“With the new gates and signage hopefully people will begin to respect it,” he added.

“It’s not all about the public – they’ve got to see the bigger picture.

“We have to be delicate about how we do things.

“We do intend to reopen but people must keep to the rules and failure to comply with them will see the canal close again.

“People need to self police.”