We're celebrating after several of our Cheshire canals have been awarded Green Flag status by Keep Britain Tidy.
The prestigious awards, now in their third decade, are given to outdoor spaces that boast the highest possible environmental standards, are beautifully maintained and have excellent visitor facilities.Proudly flying the Green Flag
All the Shropshire Union Canal in Cheshire now proudly flies a Green Flag after 22 miles from the National Waterways Museum in Ellesmere Port to Barbridge was added to the existing Green Flag length between Middlewich and Audlem.
A new 17 mile section of the Trent & Mersey Canal between Middlewich and Red Bull at Kidsgrove has also been recognised for its high standards, along with a repeat designation for the River Weaver Navigation from Runcorn to Winsford, which was first recognised last year.
A new award for seven miles of the Lower Peak Forest Canal means the entire 15 mile Peak Forest Canal, which connects Dukinfield in East Manchester with Whaley Bridge, is now Green Flag status, including a special heritage award for Marple's famous 16 lock flight. The Macclesfield Canal, which was the first canal in the country to gain a Green Flag in 2015, also retains the accolade across its 26 miles, along with Sutton Reservoir, which supplies it with water.
This year we've seen an extra 40 miles added to the 400 miles already designated with the top environmental quality mark.
Amazing green and blue spaces
Daniel Greenhalgh, our North West director, said: “Our efforts to win Green Flags are founded on the principle of local community action. Canals offer amazing green and blue spaces on our doorsteps teeming with nature and wildlife, but we do need the community to act now to help look after these 200-year-old special places.
“I'd like to thank and congratulate everyone who works or volunteers with the Trust, including those in the community who do their bit to help look after their local canal. The Green Flags are thanks to those efforts. Every action makes a difference, from picking up the odd piece of litter on a towpath walk, getting involved in adopting a stretch of canal, or making a donation to help fund the repairs and maintenance that keeps the canals open and available for people to use. We welcome everyone who wants to come along and make positive changes in their local community.”Congratulations
Commenting on our success, Green Flag Award Scheme Manager Paul Todd said: “I would like to congratulate everyone involved in making the canals worthy of a Green Flag Award.
“To meet the requirements demanded by the scheme is testament to the hard work of the staff and volunteers who do so much to ensure that these waterways have high standards of horticulture, safety and environmental management and is a place that supports people to live healthy lives.”
The Green Flag Award scheme, managed by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for their management across the United Kingdom and around the world. The status recognizes that canals and their towpaths meet these criteria and play an important role in the local community, offering great places to relax, exercise, escape for a while, and get close to nature.