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The charity making life better by water

Record year for volunteering in the East Midlands

The region tops the table for time spent helping to care for historic canals and rivers.

Little Venice

Community spirited volunteers in the East Midlands have donated more time helping to transform their local waterways over the past twelve months than in any other part of the country.

Volunteers and partner groups put in over 44,000 hours over the course of the last financial year – the equivalent of one person working for more than 23 years.

Some of the highlights included:

  • A team of young Prince's Trust volunteers led by Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue helped to transform sections of the Erewash Canal in Cotmanhay, painting bridges, gates and locks and collecting litter
  • 55 volunteer lock keepers welcomed towpath visitors and helped hundreds of boaters through eight locks along the River Trent
  • 15 volunteers were involved in the repair of the lock gates at Newark Town Lock, including welcoming 3,5000 visitors to a special open day where they had the unique opportunity to venture into the bottom of the drained lock to find out more about the works
  • A team from Marks & Spencer left the shop floor to help the region's wildlife by clearing litter on the Nottingham Beeston Canal
  • Grantham Canal Society volunteers are working on a major Heritage Lottery Funded project to restore four locks on the Grantham Canal
  • Long Eaton Natural History Society (LENS) adopted a section of the Erewash Canal at Dockholme Lock, working regularly to keep the canal clean and welcoming for people and wildlife
  • Newark Emmaus Trust and 2nd Balderton Guides both helped to care for stretches of the River Trent in Newark

Wayne Ball, volunteer development coordinator for the Canal & River Trust said; “The people of the East Midlands have really stepped up to the plate in the past twelve months and helped to make a big difference to the region's waterways.

“It shows just how much people in this part of the country value their local waterways and want to help keep them special. We're now working with a wide variety of people including community groups, canal societies, local businesses and even schools, Scout groups and Girl Guides on a whole host of different tasks, it's fantastic. Some groups have even adopted their local stretch which is brilliant.

“We'd like to thank each and every person that's helped us and we look forward to continuing the great work over the next twelve months. Hopefully we can get more people involved in helping to care for and promote their local waterways.”

Last Edited: 21 April 2016

photo of a location on the canals
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