A ½ mile stretch of the Aire & Calder Navigation in Knottingley has been adopted by a local group in memory of local waterway enthusiast Freda Turner.
‘Friends of Freda’s Garden’ has been established as part of our ‘Adopt a Canal’ initiative to create a lasting memorial to Freda who sadly passed away five years ago.
Freda lived in a terraced house which backed onto the canal and was regularly seen on the towpath planting flowers, pruning bushes and tidying up this stretch of historic waterway between Cow Lane Bridge and Shepherds Bridge.
The group now meet up every Tuesday between 10-4pm and are appealing for more green-fingered volunteers to help support this important cause.
Mark Lovett, group organiser explains the motivations: “Freda used to treat the canal towpath like it was her own garden and had huge respect and love for it. Setting up this adoption group in her memory is a fitting tribute and we hope we can continue to keep it as lovely as she did for the benefit of everyone who uses it. We’d love for more of the local community with an interest in their local canal to come and help.”
Communities across England & Wales are invited to adopt mile-long lengths of canal or river and help transform some of the Trust’s 2,000 miles of waterways. Across Yorkshire, Friends of Freda’s Garden join Adsetts Canal Project in Sheffield, Swinton Lock Activity Centre in Rotherham and Girlguiding Leeds and Canal Connections in Leeds.
Whilst the Trust is still the owner, over 100 groups have now joined the scheme in a bid to improve canals and rivers up and down the country.
Lucy Dockray, volunteer leader for the Canal & River Trust said: “This is such a lovely thing for Mark and the local community to do in memory of Freda as she was clearly very proud of her local waterway. Our canals and rivers are a terrific resource to have on our doorstep and we only hope more people follow the lead of Freda in caring for their local waterway.
“Our time and money is spent on major priority repairs like repairing locks, bridges, aqueducts and towpaths, so the work of our amazing volunteer groups is essential and brings invaluable added benefits which we’re not able to do but are equally as vital.”
To join the Friends of Freda’s Garden canal adoption group call Mark Lovett on 01977 620766 or email Marklovett@aol.com.
Full details about Waterway Adoptions can be found at www.canalrivertrust.org.uk/volunteer or by contacting email@example.com / 0303 040 4040. At a hands-on level the Trust will work with the group to understand what work needs to be done, whether it’s to record and improve wildlife habitats, maintain towpaths, help fundraise, run educational events or help combat anti-social behaviour.