VOLUNTEERS turned out in force using paddle power and their bare hands in a huge effort to clean up the canal in Brighouse.
In conjunction with British Waterways, an army of Brighouse businesses and residents joined forces as part of the big clean-up.
Members of the Pennine Canoe club took to the Calder and Hebble Navigation and cleared litter from the water and places not accessible by foot.
A last-minute addition to the operation was the Calder Navigation Society who volunteered their barge and it proved to be very useful for cutting and collecting the overgrowth from the side of the canal.
On land volunteers helped with clearing rubbish, weeding and cutting back overgrown trees and bushes.
Lidia Shinwell, director of Prego Restaurant and Waterfront Hotel who helped organise the day with the Euan Noble and the team from the Rokt Climbing Gym, said everybody involved deserved a big thank you for an amazing day’s work.
“We had around 50 volunteers weeding, cutting, sweeping, picking, and even swimming,” she said. “The canal looks fantastic and having filled nearly two skips worth of debris and overgrowth so it should.
“The venture came about when we came up with the idea of making more use of the canal. We were saying how lovely it would be to put Brighouse on the map and came up with an idea to benefit all the community.
“Some residents had already inquired about doing a clear up so we thought we should combine our efforts.”
Calder Future and Calderdale Tourism weighed in by sharing their experience with voluntary clean-ups and passed on knowledge and contacts to help organise the day.
Family, friends and members of the community were also out in force helping with the clearing and sprucing up the area with help from Kershaws Garden Centre which helped brighten up the area by planting of flowers.
Over the three-hour operation, workers kept their energy levels up thanks to Sainsburys, Prego and Blakeley’s Restaurant all providing snacks and food.
British Waterways volunteer leader, Lucy Dockray, said: “Sunday’s canal clean-up in Brighouse was a huge success.
“The local business owners and residents who organised and took part in the event showed an impressive amount of community spirit and the results of their hard work is amazing. Everyone involved should be incredibly proud of what was achieved and I hope we can set up a similar event in the future.”