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News article created on 3 February 2016

Brownies canal adoption

Maria Frost from the 1st Oulton Brownies tells us all about why the group chose to adopt a section of the Trent & Mersey Canal.

Oulton Brownies working on the towpath CS Canal Adoption Oulton Brownies

While enjoying a pleasant walk one summer evening along the canal, from Stone to Barlaston, we noticed how overgrown the cobble setts on the roving bridge at Meaford Locks were. This got me thinking, as a Brownie leader I am always on the lookout for interesting activities for the Brownies to do (especially if we can also connect it with a badge or two).

I had recently heard that the Canal & River Trust were encouraging local groups to adopt a length of canal. I contacted Tom Freeland who is the local volunteer coordinator, he came to talk to us, explaining what was involved, and yes, we could do our water safety badge too.

A good turn

We arranged to go for a walk along the towpath to Meaford so that the girls could see the area and come up with some suggestions on what they would like to do.

In September of this year we did our first evening work party where the girls managed to clean the cobbles on one half of the bridge by using trowels and stiff brushes, and planted some native wild daffodil bulbs, we got a little muddy, but all had a good time.

Oulton Brownies working on the towpathA few weeks later, we continued the other half of the cobbles and more planting. With the dark night’s drawing in, we met on a damp and windy Sunday morning in November instead of our usual evening. Although there were not many of us, we replanted a missing section of the hedge between the towpath and road. The morning was finished off with Tom presenting us with our adoption certificate.

The girls are proud of what they have achieved in the short time they have been doing the work parties, gaining the water safety badge and learning new skills. They are looking forward to next term.

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