We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.

Amy Irwin, volunteer and canal adopter

Amy has been volunteering with the Trust since 2012 and was the driving force behind the community adoption of a section of canal in Netherton, Merseyside - becoming the youngest person to ever adopt a canal.

Amy stood next to canal with litter picking net Amy Irwin

Over the last year, Amy's adoption group have primarily focused on keeping the towpath clear of litter as well as removing the backlog of waste that had been dumped over the years. The steady improvement in the area has resulted in a great deal of positive comments from passersby and users of the canal who clearly appreciate the hard work that has been put in by Amy and the team. It has also inspired others in the community to come along and lend a hand - a win win situation!

Read about our canal adoption schemes

"Adopting a stretch of the canal really appealed to me as I wanted to show that I was serious about and committed to cleaning the canal and doing something in my local area." Amy Irwin

Amy's story

"I live opposite the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and love the view from my bedroom window.  Well, I enjoy it much more since I started a volunteering group which adopted the stretch between Cookson’s Bridge (4a) and Swifts Lane Bridge (5) and I can see the difference we have made to the canal over the last few years. 

"Adopting a stretch of the canal really appealed to me as I wanted to show that I was serious about and committed to cleaning the canal and doing something in my local area. Sadly some people don’t take young people seriously but I am determined.

"I put leaflets and posters in shops, community centres and around my local area to appeal for local residents to volunteer. As the group has become more established, word of mouth has gained more volunteers and a few newspaper articles have brought volunteers along. I currently have about 10 regular volunteers and up to 25 volunteers during the summer months.

"At the moment, we meet once a month but I think we’ll start to meet more often, there is so much to do! The main issue is litter on the towpath, in canal itself and on the opposite bank. Recent rescues from the canal include a mattress and an armchair!"

Watch the video to hear Amy talk about the highs and lows of her canal adoption

Last date edited: 15 March 2016