Eight year old Lottie Clarke who lives near Lock 14 on the Northampton Arm of the Grand Union Canal, has won a prestigious volunteer award to recognise her contribution in helping to clean up the canal.
Lottie has been turning up in all weathers and completing more than 50 hours working with a volunteer team from the Northampton Branch of The Inland Waterways Association.
Lottie was honoured to receive the John Faulkner Award, created by the branch to recognise someone who has made an important contribution to its work, at its annual dinner recently. The award was named after a long-standing branch member who left a substantial legacy in 2016. She is the third recipient of the award.
Lottie spotted volunteers in hi-viz jackets working on the canal arm and asked mum, Laura what they were doing. They decided to take the family dog for a walk, got chatting to the volunteers and signed up to join the group on the spot. Since then Lottie and her mum have helped clear out weir channels, paint locks, cut back vegetation and Lottie's favourite task litter picking. She even does litter picking outside of regular work parties when walking the dog along the towpath.
Lottie and Laura were instrumental in getting her school, Rothersthorpe Primary, to join in with painting a mural under the M1 bridge on the canal arm this summer and helped spread the word about the Mosaic Nature Trail, two projects recently conceived and installed by the branch to help rejuvenate the canal corridor which leads from near Gayton, where it joins with Grand Union Canal main line, into the heart of Northampton where it links to the River Nene.