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News article created on 13 November 2017

More volunteers needed to help improve wildlife habitats on Welsh canals

We're appealing for more volunteers to help care for the Montgomery and Llangollen canals and protect vital wildlife habitats in mid Wales.

Montgomery Canal shade reduction, Guilsfield Arm

An enthusiastic group of volunteers meets every Friday to carry out a range of tasks from vegetation clearance and Himalayan Balsam ‘bashing’ to hedge-laying, lock gate painting and towpath maintenance but would like more members.

A recent project has involved shade reduction and vegetation removal on the disused Guilsfield Arm of the Montgomery Canal, which runs for more than two miles from Burgedin towards the village of Guilsfield. This is one of 10 key nature sites across the country which is getting extra help under the ‘Making Special Places for Nature’ project, funded by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.

Other volunteers have recently ‘adopted’ a stretch of canal at Wern. Our specialist ecologists have worked with them to develop a management plan to improve local wildlife habitats and waterside locations for visitors.

Linda Butterworth, our project officer for Making Special Places for Nature, said: "The group is amazing and they do some fantastic work improving the canals in mid Wales, but they would like others to come and join them to make an even greater impact.

"The volunteers have recently supported a big project on the Guilsfield Arm to remove overgrown trees from the canalbank, which reduces shading and allows aquatic plants and animals, like water voles and shrews, to flourish. Much of our work is about encouraging biodiversity and creating healthy waterways which can provide a home for a wide range of flora and fauna."

We would love to hear from people who would like to get involved in improving wildlife habitats by water. If you have a few hours to spare and would like to contribute to this vital work, please contact local volunteer coordinator Jason Watts. Email: Jason.watts@canalrivertrust.org.uk.