News article created on 4 November 2021

Canal strikes Gold at Rugby in Bloom award

Our volunteers have again won Gold in the Rugby in Bloom award for their efforts in helping to care for the busiest set of canal locks in the country on the Oxford Canal at Hillmorton.

Happy volunteers Happy volunteers

Our team of volunteers help boaters as they travel through the popular locks. In addition, they have spruced up the lock-side area and have planted a variety of plants and bulbs, built raised planters and grown a herb garden to create a haven for wildlife and to give a warm welcome to boaters and towpath visitors.

Gaining recognition

Recognising the volunteers’ efforts in revitalising the canal-side, the Rugby in Bloom judges gave the locks a Gold award in the Community category.

Taryn, who volunteers with Canal & River Trust, said: “We’re delighted we’ve won this award – for the third year in a row. The team work hard to ensure the locks and the towpath are looking smart and having this award is a wonderful ‘pat on the back’ for all our efforts over the last year.”

Sue Blocksidge, our volunteer development coordinator, said: “I’m always enthused by how dedicated our volunteers are and the group at Hillmorton are no exception. They work wonderfully as a team and are always looking at ways they can improve the locks for local people, visitors, and boaters.

“With one in eight people not having access to private outside space, canals have become everyone's back garden and have been a lifeline for so many people during the pandemic. Our volunteers have given local communities a place to stop and enjoy the wellbeing benefits of being next to water whilst helping to bring nature back to our canals.”

The Rugby in Bloom awards are run by Rugby Borough Council with the support of local organisations, groups, and individuals.