Over 2,000 metres of dry stone walls along the Leeds & Liverpool Canal in East Lancashire are now in top condition again, thanks to a £44,000 repair project involving over 130 volunteer days.
We've been working with volunteers at Rishton, near Blackburn, and Greenberfield, Barnoldswick, to repair several key sections of traditional dry stone walls that had partially collapsed.
Around 150 tonnes of recovered local stone was floated along the canal in a large barge to reach inaccessible areas of the canal towpath. Volunteers, aged from late teens to early 60s, then unloaded the stone and shaped it back into dry stone walls to create effective barriers for livestock again.
Funded by individual donations from Friends of the Canal & River Trust, this six week project is one of a number of initiatives on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal to improve the canal environment during its 200th anniversary year.
Matt Taylor, North West volunteer development co-ordinator with the Trust, said: “The volunteers have done a fantastic job in repairing the walls along the towpath. Many of them arrived on the project knowing little about the traditional skills needed to build dry stone walls.
“Qualified experts have worked with them to acquire the necessary expertise and those that want to, have been able to gain valuable vocational AQA qualifications in dry stone walling.
“We are very grateful to the volunteers, trainers, and everyone who has donated funds to the Trust’s important environmental improvement work. The project has been a win-win for everyone. Volunteers have enjoyed learning a new skill and working in the outdoors, and the canal environment has benefitted, with restored dry stone walls preserved for future generations.”