This weekend, Londoners will be celebrating 200 years since the first cutting of the Regent’s Canal, and the Canal & River Trust is asking those who use and enjoy the waterway to take part in the celebrations and help give the canal a birthday makeover.
We're asking people to donate money or their time with the aim of raising £5,000 to transform the canal into a community garden with fruit trees, wildflowers and climbing plants growing in a number of pockets along its 8½ mile length. The makeover will provide a great opportunity to encourage wildlife and bring colour to the towpath throughout the seasons.
Additionally, members of the public can take part in the charity’s new Towpath Taskforce teams, which were launched earlier this week. These will provide regular volunteering opportunities, such as painting lock gates, clearing overgrown vegetation and cleaning up litter and graffiti, giving the canal a birthday makeover.
Jon Guest, London’s waterway manager for the Canal & River Trust, comments: “London’s canals and rivers are a valuable green resource in a crowded city, and we can all benefit from them. By donating to the Regent’s Canal appeal and helping support the new Towpath Taskforce teams, Londoners can help bring a wealth of added benefits to the daily maintenance work carried out by the Canal & River Trust. Most of all, by getting involved, more people will appreciate their local waterway and help provide a lasting legacy that we can all be proud of.”
Becky Williams, volunteer team leader for the Canal & River Trust in London, adds: “There are pockets along the Regent’s Canal that, for various reasons, have been neglected and forgotten over time. Through people giving their time and money, we want to reclaim these for local communities, visitors and wildlife by clearing out the litter and damage, and breathing new, green life back into them. Not only can we support populations of bumblebees, butterflies, dragonflies and other insects but we can also encourage birds and bats to make their homes in the heart of our capital.
“We’ve seen a massive rise in volunteering over the last four years and the new Towpath Taskforce teams will provide easy opportunities for people to turn up to with no previous experience, meet existing volunteers and learn about other opportunities to get involved. We have volunteers from all walks of life who donate their time to us to get some exercise and help keep their local waterside community looking tidy because they recognise how important London’s canals and rivers are.”