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The charity making life better by water

Revealing what lurks beneath

We're launching a national series of 15 free, public open days, as part of our five-month, £45 million restoration and repair programme to canals and rivers across England and Wales.

Group of Canal & River Trust workers in hard hats and high vis standing on the floor of a drained lock next to new lock gates

The open days will give you the rare chance to see some of the finest examples of working industrial heritage in the world. You could find yourself climbing down into famous locks in Camden or walking through an aqueduct in Wales' picturesque Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal.

As part of the programme, the we're running a three-month survey to record the volume and variety of rubbish discarded in Britain's waterways.

£1 million each year

From the ubiquitous shopping trolleys, traffic cones, tyres, bikes, bottles and plastic bags to the more unusual safes, unexploded bombs, cars and war medals, we spend nearly £1 million hauling lost and discarded items from the waterways each year.

We want to raise public awareness of the impact of rubbish on Britain's canals and rivers and will be publishing the results of the survey in the spring.

A remarkable network

Richard Parry, chief executive of the Canal & River Trust, says: “The Canal & River Trust cares for a remarkable network of historic waterways, which are still working just as they were designed to 200 years ago. Keeping them open and safe requires a huge amount of planning, investment and craftsmanship and involves a wide range of experts, from civil engineers and hydrologists to heritage experts and ecologists.

“As part of this maintenance we will be recording everything we find when the water is drained. Sadly a small number of people think it's acceptable to dump things like shopping trolleys and other rubbish in our canals and rivers.

"Our staff and volunteers work tirelessly throughout the year to clear this up to maintain them for the benefit of millions of people who visit each year. We need to highlight the issue to make people realise the damage that rubbish can cause to our visitors, boaters, wildlife and the appearance of our waterways.”

Last Edited: 08 October 2015

photo of a location on the canals
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