A local group of anglers have helped to transform a stretch of the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal, after becoming the first ever people to formally adopt a stretch of the waterway.
The Gloucester United Anglers Association (GUAA) have taken over a 400-metre section at High Orchard Bridge by the old cinema, as part of our scheme to encourage local community groups to take ownership of their local waterway.
Starting in February this year, the GUAA have cleaned-up the towpath and increased the number of people who can fish from the offside bank. The group will now continue to work with us to maintain and improve the area in the future.
Waterway adoptions give communities the chance to shape the future of their canals and rivers. At a hands-on level they are able to get involved in activities specific to their waterway, from recording and improving wildlife habitats or maintaining a local towpath, to helping run educational or community events. Most groups will meet regularly each month to ensure their stretch continues to thrive. There are currently 60 adoption groups nationwide, but this is the first ever in Gloucestershire.
Ralph Gresty, from GUAA, said: “We’ve done quite a lot of work already, cutting back the brambles and weeds, we filled seven skips worth of debris. Previously there was an overgrown section of towpath where four people could fish, now there is a well maintained plot with space for up to 16 anglers. It’s been a great success, and we continue to litter pick and cut the grass once a week.”
Shaun Brown, Canal & River Trust waterways supervisor, said: “We’re delighted that Ralph and the anglers have adopted this stretch, they’ve improved it no end in a short period of time. Our canals and rivers are there for everyone to enjoy and we want people to feel real ownership of them. This is a great example of what can happen when people who are really passionate about their community are given the tools and responsibility to look after it.”