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Volunteers to transform the Regent's Canal

We're working with community volunteer group the Lower Regent’s Coalition, and the Tower Hill Trust, to transform an area of the Regent’s Canal in East London.

Thanks to a grant from The Tower Hill Trust, the Lower Regent's Coalition is undertaking a ‘greening' project on a stretch of the Regent's Canal near Mile End, to introduce more wildlife-friendly planting along the edge of the canal opposite the Ragged School Museum.

The Lower Regent's Coalition has adopted this section of waterway as part of our Community Adoptions initiative, which encourages local groups to get more involved in the day-to-day care of their local canal or river.

Much-needed makeover

Dave Bedford, member of the Lower Regents Coalition, said: “We are really excited to be able to give this part of the canal a much-needed makeover. We will be planting native reeds, iris, sedges, grasses and lily pads to enhance the area for wildlife, such as kingfishers, which used to thrive here before it was so heavily developed.

“This is a busy stretch of towpath, especially in spring and summer, and thanks to the Tower Hill Trust we are going to make it somewhere that people want to sit by and spend time near rather than just pass through.”

The project starts in two weeks' time and will continue throughout spring and summer.

Debbie Vidler, volunteer coordinator for the Canal & River Trust, explains: “Local community adoption groups can really help add the extra special touches that could make the waterway even better. Any time that can be given is greatly appreciated, whether it's to meet once a month and tidy an area, or if there's an area that is in desperate need of restoration, we'd like to hear from you."

Knives and bayonets

The Group already has a track record in caring for the canal. In October, November and December last year they helped us by removing almost 10 tonnes of rubbish from the bed of this part of the canal, including safes, mattresses, traffic cones, shopping trolleys, car bonnets, baths, sinks, bikes, knives, bayonets and over 120 tyres. They also found an unexploded World War II hand grenade.

Find out more about Waterway Adoptions and other volunteering opportunities at or contact [email protected].

Last Edited: 02 March 2015

photo of a location on the canals
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