Caring for the canalside

Pock canal - presentation to Paul Waddington (Canal amenity chairman) by Graham Ramsden (Regeneration manager) with Claire McDonald (Volunteer co-ordinator)
Pock canal - presentation to Paul Waddington (Canal amenity chairman) by Graham Ramsden (Regeneration manager) with Claire McDonald (Volunteer co-ordinator)

VOLUNTEERS are being urged to form a working group to help maintain the canals and surrounding areas in Brighouse.

British Waterways hope that these informal groups will meet at least once a month, providing friends, family and strangers the chance to work together on a variety of tasks, from conserving historic structures and protecting wildlife habitats, to painting locks and sprucing up sites.

The effort will hopefully bring wildlife and environmental benefits to the Calder and Hebble Navigation canal, as well as providing a welcome boost to the year-round work carried out by British Waterways who spend over £100 million directly on maintaining the nation’s waterways each year.

Claire McDonald, volunteer leader for British Waterways north east, said: “The new regular waterway volunteering parties are a great way for more people to get involved in caring for their local environment. There’s a real sense of achievement in the difference a group can make in just a short period of time and having a regular group of local supporters help do those ‘added extras’ is vital to the future of the waterways. There are lots of opportunities to get involved all around Yorkshire so I’d encourage anyone with a passion for their local waterway to get in touch.”

British Waterways has also successfully introduced a new ‘Waterway Adoption’ programme ahead of its move to becoming a new waterways charity in 2012, with the first one in Yorkshire launched last month on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

“We want to engage people by encouraging local businesses and groups to adopt a stretch of waterway neighbouring their property or within their local area,” said Claire. “We hope by giving local communities a bigger say in the running of their local canal or river they’ll feel an increased sense of ownership and will help safeguard them for future generations to enjoy.”

A clean-up event has been scheduled in September with many businesses and workers already signing up.

To find out more information, contact Claire McDonald on 0113 281 6800 or email claire.mcdonald@britishwaterways.co.uk