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News article created on 2 November 2016

Trust completes £1million dredging project

The Trust, has recently completed a £1million dredging project along the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal making it cleaner for people and the wildlife that lives along it.

Boat passing under bridge with couple sat on bench nearby and walkers on bridge Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal, courtesy of John M

The project started in February this year and involved the Trust dredging sections of the canal from Tixall Lock in Staffordshire to Debdale near Kidderminster. In total around seven miles of canal was dredged removing over 31,000 tonnes of silt – which is the same in weight as 2,583 fire engines.

The work focused on areas along the canal where boaters were having difficulty mooring and travelling along the canal. All of the silt removed was either reused along the canal as bank protection or sent via road to a local facility to be turned into soil for re-use.

In an effort to increase the number of water voles, the nation’s fastest declining mammal, 300 metres of coir rolls – mats made of recycled coconut husks which are planted with a range of aquatic plants - were planted alongside the canal to create new homes for these furry creatures and connect existing colonies.

Paul Fox, from the Trust, said: "Now we’ve finished this project I hope boaters will find navigating the canal much easier. We mainly focused on areas along the canal where we knew we had problems with a build-up of silt.

"If we didn’t carry out works such as this then the canal would simply silt up meaning that boaters couldn’t use it and that would have a huge impact on the communities and businesses it passes.

"The silt we removed was surprisingly clean. Normally when we dredge canals we find large items of rubbish that has been dumped in the water such as car tyres, motorbikes and shopping trollies but, thanks to the efforts of local people who help us look after the canal, we didn’t find anything like that, just lots of mud!"

See video below