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News article created on 28 March 2014

Volunteers wanted to help clean up West Midlands' canals

Volunteers from across the region are being called upon to roll up their sleeves, strap on some sturdy boots and help clean up some of the country’s most historic canals, ahead of the start of the main boating season this spring.

Anyone can get involved, as long as they like the outdoors and doing a bit of hard graft Peter Mathews CMG, chair of west midlands waterways partnership

An epic weekend tidy-up starting on Saturday 5 April aims to remove tons of litter and debris from the Grand Union Canal and Digbeth Branch of the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal. Once the rubbish is removed from the canal and towpath, boats will collect and dispose of it. 

The work is being carried out by the Canal & River Trust, in partnership with Birmingham Canal Navigation Society, the Birmingham, Black Country & Worcester Branch of the Inland Waterways Association, the Waterway Recovery Group, Dudley Canal Trust and the Coombeswood Canal Trust.

Peter Mathews CMG, chair of west midlands waterways partnership for the Canal & River Trust, said: “I am hoping that this year’s clean-up is the biggest ever. Anyone can get involved, as long as they like the outdoors and doing a bit of hard graft and don’t mind getting a bit wet and muddy.  Although the days are tiring the reward of seeing the amount of rubbish collected at the end of each day makes it all worthwhile.”

Murray Woodward, volunteer co-ordinator for the Canal & River Trust, said: "The canals in Birmingham are used by many, not just for boating but for walking, fishing, cycling and even canoeing. With these beautiful waterways in their backyard, I'm sure that many local people would give the helping hand that is needed to keep this historic waterway as the haven it is, to be enjoyed by one and all."

The clean-up will run from 9:30am – 4pm on both days and volunteers are asked to meet at the Canal & River Trust yard at Sampson Road North, Birmingham, B11 1BG.

To find out more and to sign up for the two day event visit www.waterways.org.uk or www.wrg.org.uk

Find out how you can get involved and volunteer with the Trust